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Another NOM-Endorsed Candidate Loses: Steve Lonegan Edition

October 17, 2013 9:28 am ET by Luke Brinker

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) sustained yet another blow at the ballot box when voters in New Jersey's special U.S. Senate election picked Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) over NOM-backed Steve Lonegan (R).

NOM announced its endorsement of Lonegan on October 12, boasting an "excess of 120,000 supporters in New Jersey" who would work to elect Lonegan. NOM President Brian Brown touted Lonegan's social conservatism in a message to supporters, calling a Lonegan win "vital":

Steve Lonegan is a true social conservative who will protect and promote marriage, life, and religious liberties on the national stage. And Steve Lonegan supports the right of the people of New Jersey to vote on the definition of marriage as three dozen other states have done.

[...]

It's vital that we carry Steve Lonegan over the top by voting tomorrow, Wednesday the 16th, for the only candidate who shares New Jersey's values and will fight for them in the U.S. Senate — Steve Lonegan.

Over the course of just four days - the time between its endorsement and the election - NOM spent $5,195 on Lonegan's candidacy, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. By comparison, NOM-supported Senate nominees Josh Mandel (R-OH), Wendy Long (R-NY), and Connie Mack (R-FL) received $32,086, $7,000, and $1,585, respectively, over the course of the entire 2012 election cycle.

But NOM's efforts proved futile. Voters chose Booker over Lonegan by a wide margin. It's unclear what impact, if any, the candidates' positions on same-sex marriage had on the election's results; marriage equality enjoys widespread support in New Jersey, but Booker's campaign got bogged down in controversy in the final weeks of the election.

At any rate, NOM's New Jersey defeat marks the latest in a string of failed efforts to defeat pro-equality candidates in states like New Hampshire, New York, Washington state, Iowa, and Illinois. These losses haven't stopped NOM from asserting that marriage equality is a surefire "vote loser," and Lonegan's rout is unlikely to change that.

Previously:

NOM Has No Evidence To Prove Marriage Equality Is A "Vote Loser"

NOM Distorts Australian Election Results As Referendum On Marriage Equality

NOM Ignores Its Own Track Record In Pledge To Oust Pro-Equality Illinois Republicans




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