EMILY’s List: Women Remain Key
Posted at 4:06 p.m. on Oct. 10, 2012
Amid polls showing that women may be drifting away from President Barack Obama, EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock told reporters that women will still help Democrats prevail on Election Day, particularly in key Senate races.
“Women voters are going to vote for Democrats because they know what’s at stake,” Schriock said in a conference call today. The Democratic women’s PAC has shattered its previous fundraising records and will spend more in this election cycle than at any point in its 27-year history, she said.
Schriock assailed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s record on women’s issues, called on Vice President Joseph Biden to challenge House Budget chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) on those issues in Thursday’s vice presidential debate and touted her PAC’s record 2012 spending on behalf of female Democrats.
Romney knows he needs women to win the election and has decided that “his best strategy for getting their votes is to lie to them,” Schriock said. She quoted Romney’s recent statement to the Des Moines Register that “there’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”
“It’s a sentence so weirdly phrased, it’s hard to believe he didn’t practice it,” Schriock said. “I know I had to practice it this morning to read it.”
The group’s Women Vote! super PAC collected almost $2 million in August, public records show, a close to fourfold increase over the previous month. Altogether EMILY’s List has spent more than $4 million this election cycle.
The group is spending heavily in House and Senate races around the country. Its top targets include former GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson, running against Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, and GOP Rep. Todd Akin, challenging Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri. Akin’s controversial “legitimate rape” comments made him a special target for EMILY’s List and its allies.
“This could be the race that has been framed most by women’s issues,” Schriock said of the Missouri Senate contest. Last month, EMILY’s List announced a $1 million pro-McCaskill ad buy with the Service Employees International Union.
Schriock said the group is “also keeping an eye on the race for the presidency, and reminding voters just how devastating a Romney-Ryan administration would be for women and families.”
It’s unclear, however, whether women’s issues will carry the day with female voters who remain focused on the economy. Obama had enjoyed an 18-point lead among women in September, according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. But an Oct. 8 Pew poll showed likely female voters evenly divided between the two candidates, at 47 percent each.