Pro-life Democrat Dan Lipinski fell to progressive Marie Newman on Tuesday night, failing to win his ninth term in Illinois’s third district as prominent Democrats and pro-choice activists cheered the win.
With 494 of 500 precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Newman led the incumbent Lipinski by less than 3,000 votes. Polling experts suggested the coronavirus outbreak could have played a decisive factor, with Lipinski’s strong support among older voters likely waning as seniors elected to stay home.
“I am bursting with pride and gratitude for the amazing coalition that helped bring about much needed change in our district,” Newman tweeted after the race was called.
I am bursting with pride and gratitude for the amazing coalition that helped bring about much needed change in our district. We are going to work together to lower health care costs, to fight climate change, and to build an economy that works for everyone. #NewDayInIL03 #IL03
— Marie Newman (@Marie4Congress) March 18, 2020
Newman barely lost to Lipinski in 2018, with the pro-life Democrat drawing increasing ire from powerful Democratic groups for his voting record. Besides opposing abortion, Lipinski has also voted against same-sex marriage and Obamacare, voted for defunding Planned Parenthood, and refused to endorse Barack Obama for re-election in 2012.
In the 2020 race, Newman drew a host of support from prominent progressives, including Senators Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.). She also raised upwards of $1.6 million and was able to outspend Lipinski by a two-to-one margin in on-air advertisements.
Warren tweeted to congratulate Newman, saying “it’s the time to fight back,” while NARAL President Ilyse Hogue hailed the victory as a “culmination of years of work to unseat an entrenched incumbent.”
Hogue added that “voters across the country are in no mind to stand by as their elected officials throw women and families under the bus.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, bemoaned Lipinski’s loss and slammed Democrats for having “extremist party leaders” and a “radical platform” of abortion advocacy.
“Congressman Lipinski has long been a profile in courage, bucking the sad trend of Democrat leaders vying to be the greatest advocate of abortion. We are deeply grateful for his bravery in standing strong,” Dannenfelser said in a statement to National Review. “The expulsion of this pro-life hero from Congress by his own party is an ominous sign for pro-life Democrats and all who long to see both major parties hold a principled stance in favor of life.”