WASHINGTON – The Senate races in Illinois and Pennsylvania are likely must-win for Democrats, but liberal groups breaking ranks and endorsing Senator Mark Kirk are frustrating the Democrat leadership, a Hill story says Tuesday.
While Kirk’s seat appears to be the one Republicans are most likely to lose, Pennsylvania’s Senator Pat Toomey’s not far behind. The Democrats need to win four seats in order to gain back the U.S. Senate Majority.
Kirk has completely ignored and rejected any attempt to gain support from Illinois conservative ranks – instead, Kirk has courted and won approval from some of the Leftist of the Leftist groups.
Kirk won praise from pro-LGBT rights groups with his decision to become the first Senate Republican to back the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
The Human Rights Campaign jumped first in March by endorsing Kirk. In response to pushback from liberals, group President Chad Griffin wrote in an op-ed, “We simply cannot ask members of Congress to vote with us, and then turn around and try to kick them out of office.”
Kirk also won approval from Americans for Responsible Solutions, an anti-Second Amendment group, snubbing yet another conservative segment of Illinois voters.
The group also endorsed Kirk, and both he and his Democratic challenger, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, have made gun control a central issue for their campaigns.
“Our country needs more Republican elected officials to stand with the vocal majority of Americans who support steps that help keep guns out of the wrong hands and prevent gun tragedies,” the ARS spokesman Mark Prentice told the Hill.
Both of Kirk’s positions that won approval from these Leftist groups are in direct contradiction to the Illinois Republican Party’s 2016 platform statements – which upheld the one-man, one-woman structure of marriage and firmly supported Second Amendment rights.