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Dan Lipinski, one of the last openly pro-life Democrats in the House of Representatives, prevailed Tuesday in a primary that pitted the Catholic Chicago lawmaker against the full force of the abortion lobby and the progressive political establishment. As the clock approached midnight, challenger Maria Newman refused to concede and snarled that she “would like to make Mr. Lipinski have a very painful evening.” The AP called the tight race a few minutes later, and the pain was instead felt by Newman and the likes of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Emily’s List, and Gloria Steinem—all of whom had endorsed Newman and together poured millions into this rare effort to oust a veteran incumbent from a safe seat. It was a proxy war over the role of abortion in the Democratic Party, and the abortion absolutists lost.
In this bluest of blue districts—one where the GOP is not even mustering token opposition, instead abandoning its primary to an unopposed Holocaust-denying fringe figure—Lipinski’s victory should be seen as a repudiation of the pro-abortion litmus test upon which many Democrat leaders now insist. Whether those leaders will get the message is another question. Bernie Sanders, who carried the district in the 2016 presidential primaries, had endorsed Newman, as had likely 2020 candidate Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and a number of Lipinski’s House colleagues. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reneged on a promise to back Lipinski. Despite all the Democratic knives in his back, Lipinski is still standing.
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