With all eyes trained on a two-man 2020 Democratic presidential primary going into the key states of Arizona, Florida and Illinois, everything rides on Tuesday’s results for a number of under-emphasized down-ballot candidates.
One of only four members in a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives to regularly break from the party line regarding abortion, Lipinski faced his second hard-fought primary battle in as many election cycles this year, as major abortion interest groups nationwide have thrown their collective weight behind repeat challenger Marie Newman.
Newman’s first attempt to unseat the blue-dog Democrat came amidst the progressive surge of the 2018 midterm elections and was backed by a strong advertising push, paid for in large part by direct and indirect support from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, EMILY’s List and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Despite immense financial backing, the progressive activist and former advertising consultant would fall to Lipinski by a slim 2-percentage point margin, according the Chicago Tribune, providing the pro-life Democrat a clear path back to Washington over Republican nominee Arthur Jones, a Holocaust denier and former member of the American Nazi Party.
Seemingly frustrated with the 2018 results, those same so-called pro-choice groups — alongside a handful of prominent national figures within the Democratic Party — have invested in Newman all the more strongly this time around in terms of endorsements and advertising dollars.
Newman’s campaign has been the beneficiary of roughly $1.5 million in outside spending thus far, the Free Beacon reported.
In an eleventh-hour media media blitz both Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List targeted the Lipinski on Newman’s behalf, painting his pro-life values as out of touch with mainstream American thought.
.@Marie4Congress (IL-03) is leading the charge against anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ+ Rep. Dan Lipinski. Today, March 17, is the Illinois primary — make sure to get out and vote for Marie! pic.twitter.com/OPhkeXqjGp
— EMILY’s List (@emilyslist) March 17, 2020
77% of people in this country support abortion access. Dan Lipinski is not one of them. @DanLipinski is out of step with the people of Illinois. Vote him out March 17th.
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) March 10, 2020
Planned Parenthood tweeted: “77% of people in this country support abortion access. Dan Lipinski is not one of them. @DanLipinski is out of step with the people of Illinois. Vote him out March 17th.”
Far-left Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, as well as Reps. Ayanna Pressley Massachusetts and Pramila Jayapal of Washington, have also endorsed Newman.
So to has Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The freshman New York Democrat, famous herself for unseating a long-serving Democrat in 2018, endorsed Newman last September, citing Lipinski’s supposed “extremely problematic” support for the “Republican agenda” as a major concern.
“The out-of-state attention has helped Newman more than double Lipinski’s fundraising efforts down the stretch, raking in a pre-primary haul of more than $490,000 to Lipinski’s nearly $223,000,” the Free Beacon reported.
A devout Catholic, however, Lipinski has been unwavering in his support of the pro-life movement in recent years, largely voting against Democratic abortion funding legislation and even attending the March for Life — decisions that Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman for the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said are certain to play well with the congressman’s constituents in religious districts of Chicago.
“Rep. Lipinski knows who his constituents are and their opposition to the current Democratic Party platform that supports abortion on demand, up until birth, paid for by taxpayers,” Quigley told the Free Beacon.
“The Democratic Party is working overtime to kick out pro-life Democrats and it will be to their own political peril.”
And according to Chicago Business, polling commissioned by the Lipinski campaign and carried out by a trusted national polling organization seems to suggest that is the case, with Newman down 22 percentage points as of January.
Despite increased concerns and substantial governmental efforts in response to the fast-spreading coronavirus, Illinois primary elections were expected to proceed largely as scheduled Tuesday.
Lipinski’s campaign was clear on social media in the hours leading up to election day that, though turning out the vote was key, it would be crucial for constituents, candidates and campaign staffers alike to be taking all necessary precautions for preventing the spread of the disease.
“Be sure to check in on your family & friends and get a plan together to get to the polls!” Lipinski wrote in a series of tweets.
“We are keeping it safe, but still working to turn out the vote tonight from all of our campaign offices. Cannot thank our volunteers enough!”
The Lipinski campaign’s scheduled election-night event has also officially been canceled, the incumbent congressman announced Monday.
Polling locations around Illinois are expected to close at approximately 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, according to CBS News.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.