On Nov. 6, Americans witnessed and participated in one of the most bitterly fought midterm elections in our nation's history. It was also the most expensive. Billionaires on the far left were said to have contributed up to $450 million to their cause. Those of us on the political right felt just as strongly about this time of decision, and that's why Sean Hannity and others called it the most important midterm election in recent memory. It certainly explains why I joined my conservative friends in urging, almost pleading, every Christian to vote. They appear to have responded to these appeals in record numbers.
According to preliminary data provided by Ralph Reed's Christian Coalition, self-identified evangelicals voted 80-to-16 percent in favor of conservative candidates and comprised 26 percent of the total electorate. If the scope of that analysis is expanded to include all conservative Christians, regardless of church affiliation, the number increases to 86-to-12 percent in favor of conservative candidates and 35 percent of the vote.
How great was the impact of Christian voters on this election? It was potentially decisive, especially in Florida where evangelicals comprised 30 percent of all voters, compared to 21 percent in 2016. Again in Florida, if preliminary results stand after any recount, Sen.-elect Scott and Gov.-elect DeSantis would prove to have fared differently without this surge of values-voters.
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The driving force behind the huge conservative turnout in 2018 also motivated 81 percent of evangelicals to vote for Donald Trump in 2016. Their primary concern was for the judiciary at all levels, and especially for the U.S. Supreme Court. The prospect of Hillary Clinton establishing a liberal majority on the Court for perhaps the next 30 years was anathema to millions of Christians. That was the issue that motivated them in 2016 and again in 2018. The mainstream media still don't understand the power of faith, and they can't figure out to this day how Donald Trump got elected president of the United States.
When Republicans strengthened control of the Senate last week by electing a few more conservative members, it negated the "veto power" of the left, appearing to guarantee that President Trump will be able to nominate and confirm many more conservative judges to the bench. Trump is also likely to nominate one or two more Supreme Court justices. As such, he could impact an entire generation. This is why conservatives have reason to celebrate the outcome of the midterm election, despite the loss of the House of Representatives. Admittedly, the new sheriff in the House will be able to harass the president for the next two years. The President's legacy for years to come, however, will be a newly formed judiciary.
There are more reasons to cheer. Alabama and West Virginia passed powerful pro-life measures, which could become the model for the entire nation. Voters in West Virginia passed an amendment to the state constitution that could make it illegal to conduct taxpayer-funded abortions. In Alabama, voters passed a constitutional amendment that affirmed an unborn child's right to life. These are both significant state-level, pro-life achievements that deserve to be noticed and applauded.
I'll leave you with this thought. As I have stated publicly, I am convinced that Abraham Lincoln's victory for a second term, in 1864, was the most consequential presidential election ever. Thankfully, even the heightened level of vitriol and animosity in America today cannot compare to the unthinkable loss of life experienced in the Civil War. Nevertheless, Lincoln's enduring words to the nation during his second inaugural address resonate powerfully today: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds. …"
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One of the developments I lament most about our national discourse today is that our politicians are inclined to "resist" rather than resolve the issues that vex our society. We must pray after this election that they, and we, will forgive one another and go to work, together.
Dr. James Dobson is a celebrated Christian leader, author and psychologist. He is the founder and president of the James Dobson Family Institute, a nonprofit organization that produces his daily radio program, "Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk." In 2008, Dr. Dobson was inducted into The National Radio Hall of Fame. Follow him @DrJamesCDobson.