Date: Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 9:16 AM Subject: NARAL: VA Canary in the Coal Mine for Anti-Choice Candidates
All Interested Parties
Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Ken Cuccinelli the canary in the coal mine for anti-choice candidates heading into 2014
It is often said that off-year elections like this race in Virginia are an early indicator of trouble for a party heading into the congressional cycle. As the factions of the Republican Party, both at the federal and state levels, proactively pursue an extreme anti-choice and anti-women agenda, the governor’s race in Virginia should serve as their canary in the coal mine as they look ahead to 2014. At a time when poll after poll shows that the majority of Americans hold pro-choice values, anti-choice politicians have tried to shy away from their track record of attacks against women’s reproductive freedom, the outcome of Virginia’s gubernatorial election should serve as a cautionary tale of what’s to come for future anti-choice candidates: voters will hold you accountable on Election Day. Recognizing that pro-choice values are a winning issue in this election, NARAL Pro-Choice America:
Led an aggressive, targeted campaign based on polling conducted by Greenberg Quinlan and Rosner Research (GQRR). Our messaging regarding Ken Cuccinelli’s misplaced priority of pursuing limitations on reproductive freedom over concerns of jobs and the economy tested strongly and was an underpinning of each message we sent to pro-choice, drop-off women voters in Virginia.
Partnered with its affiliate in Virginia to reach 30,000 targeted voters in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads through mail, online advertising, canvassing and phone-banking to ensure that our key messages were delivered and reinforced throughout the campaign.
Created innovative online ads to reach a key group of voters through smart targeting – not previously done in Virginia - on their mobile devices with the right message at the right moment in the campaign. While pro-choice messages that reinforce Ken Cuccinelli’s misplaced priorities have resonated throughout this campaign, being anti-choice and proactively ramming through policies that endanger women’s health and limit economic freedom is a damaging platform for the Republican Party. And in this race the facts are clear and undisputable: Virginia voters, like the majority of voters across this country, reject the extreme agenda of the current Republican Party when it comes to issues that affect women. Ignoring these facts going forward amounts to a costly political miscalculation. Despite their party’s obvious problem with women voters, many Republicans will try to dismiss this as an isolated race or a bad candidate. Yet, from the high-profile defeats in 2012 of anti-choice candidates like Todd Akin (R-MO) and Richard Murdock (R-IN) tells a different story: candidates called out for their anti-choice agenda on the campaign trail can be solidly defeated. Conversely, candidates who embrace pro-choice values like VA gubernatorial hopeful, Terry McAuliffe, will connect with voters who value leadership that addresses the real needs and priorities of women and families across America. As we consider races underway for 2014, NARAL Pro-Choice America, working with our affiliates and allies, will look to expand our highly successful political program to make sure that voters are keenly aware of the consequences of electing anti-choice politicians: They are both out-of-touch with real women and families and consistently sacrifice our priorities to pursue their dangerous agenda.
Motivated both by Ken Cuccinelli’s extreme policy positions and record in public office as well as Terry McAuliffe’s strong and repeated championing of a women’s right to make her own health choices, NARAL Pro-Choice America, working in partnership with our affiliate NARAL Pro-