By Dave Andrusko
I’d like to draw from two sources to make a point you will not see often conceded by the mainstream media: the enormous effectiveness/impact of the get-out-the-vote work of National Right to Life and its state affiliates.
The first comes from the Associated Press’ John Hanna. Writing about Kansas, Hanna’s lead was, “Abortion opponents knocked on doors, made phone calls and distributed fliers in support of Sen. Pat Roberts and Gov. Sam Brownback, and leaders of both major parties said Thursday that their efforts helped the two Republican incumbents late in tough re-election races.” We’ll return to this momentarily because Kansas is only one example of a tremendous campaign waged by our Movement on behalf of pro-life candidates.
The second was an analysis sent out by NRLC, based post-election poll of actual voters conducted by The Polling Company/ WomanTrend. Here are three major conclusions that can be drawn from the survey.
First, when it comes to voters who said the abortion issue affected their vote, 23% said they voted for candidates who oppose abortion. What about the other side?
Just 16% of those who said abortion affected their vote voted for candidates who favor abortion.
That is a net advantage of 7% for pro-life candidates. That is huge, folks.
Second, people heard from NRLC and our state affiliates. Fully 28% of voters recalled receiving, hearing, or seeing information or advertising from National Right to Life. The survey also told us that 17% recalled receiving information or hearing advertising from the National Right to Life affiliate in their state. This not only reminded voters who the pro-life candidates were, it made it very difficult for pro-abortion candidates to hide.
Third, as NRLC explained on Wednesday (and which will lead us back to Kansas, as representative of the awesome work of NRLC state affiliates)
National Right to Life contacted more than 3.3 million identified, pro-life, registered voter households in key races with brochures detailing the positions of the candidates on issues of importance to the right-to-life movement. An additional 1.3 million pieces of literature were hand-distributed by National Right to Life’s network of grassroots volunteers among its 3,000 local chapters. In addition, over 1.5 million pro-life households were called in the days leading up to the election with a reminder to vote for the pro-life candidate in their area. National Right to Life’s political committees also aired more than 33,000 radio ads on over 1,200 stations in key states and congressional districts.
Of course, pro-abortionists in Kansas pooh-poohed the work of Kansans for Life to make a convoluted and unconvincing argument: The abortion issue wasn’t visible enough for the outcome to justify a “mandate” for pro-life policies.
But this is, of course, nonsense. Roberts affirmed his staunch opposition to abortion in the last debate with “independent” Greg Orman. Orman said he was “pro-choice.”
When Orman said abortion was “settled law” and that the country needs to move on, Roberts retorted the answer was “unconscionable” and said he was proud of the support of Kansans for Life and NRLC.
But it was not just that Kansans saw and heard the differences between the candidates on one television debate. Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, told Hanna her organization “did two mailings during the general election campaign to 320,000 households each and made a similar number of phone calls.” It also dropped 75,000 pieces of literature, while “its political action committee spent $69,000 on state-election activities, including $29,000 on mailers for Brownback during the last week of October.” (Those figures, however, are incomplete. Much more was actually spent.)
And, of course, National Right to Life assisted as well, as it did in many races throughout the country. A very impressive joint effort.
One other hugely important consideration. Each election cycle National Right to Life’s political action committees do battle with the two largest pro-abortion PACS, EMILY’s List and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Consider the following next time you may wonder who performs the decisive work:
These poll results help explain the victories experienced by the right-to-life movement in Tuesday’s elections. National Right to Life’s political committees were actively involved in 74 races. In those races, 53 (72%) pro-life candidates prevailed, including pro-life Senate candidates in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Two of the Senate races in which National Right to Life was actively involved are still outstanding. In Alaska, pro-life Dan Sullivan has what appears to be an insurmountable lead over pro-abortion Sen. Mark Begich, and in Louisiana, pro-life Rep. Bill Cassidy is the frontrunner in a December run-off election against pro-abortion incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Despite being vastly outspent by pro-abortion organizations such as Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List, pro-life candidates won Tuesday by significant margins. There were 26 races in which a candidate supported by National Right to Life was running against a candidate supported by the pro-abortion PAC EMILY’s List. Nineteen (73%) of the National Right to Life-supported candidates won.
EMILY’s List almost has more money than it can use. Nonetheless, NRL political committees prevailed in almost 3/4s of the head-to-head matches.
The election may be in the rear mirror, but the difference National Right to Life and its state affiliates made in helping Republicans regain control of the United States Senate must not be forgotten.