According to the National Right to Life Committee, the nation’s largest grassroots pro-life organization, 23 percent of voters said that the abortion issue affected their vote and voted for candidates who oppose abortion. This compares to just 16 percent who said abortion affected their vote and voted for candidates who favor abortion, yielding a seven percent advantage for pro-life candidates.
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 considered 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.
“The abortion issue has played a key role in every major election since Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980,” said Carol Tobias, National Right to Life president. “As we witnessed Tuesday, in election after election, National Right to Life and its network of 50 state affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters help provide the margin of victory for pro-life candidates.”
The poll also found that voters heard and saw the right-to-life message in the days leading up to the election. Fully 28 percent of voters recalled receiving, hearing, or seeing information or advertising from National Right to Life. Seventeen percent recalled receiving information or hearing advertising from the National Right to Life affiliate in their state. Voters also recalled other pro-life groups that were involved in the election: nine percent recalled hearing or receiving information about candidates from Susan B. Anthony List; 10 percent recalled hearing or seeing information from Americans United for Life.
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.
The poll of 806 actual voters was conducted by The Polling Company/Woman Trend, November 4, 2014, and has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percent.
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