Would You Trust Your Presidential Campaign to EMILY’s List?

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

As Hillary Clinton’s presumptive presidential campaign is imploding over her email practices, longstanding Clinton supporter and Democrat strategist Paul Begala is coming to her defense: “Voters do not give a sh-t about what email Hillary used. They don’t even give a fart.”

WGBH, however, suggests that Clinton’s must-have target population of millennial women may not give a sh-t or fart about her at all, especially with abortion rights PAC EMILY’s List in charge.

Clinton, who headlined EMILY List’s thirtieth anniversary gala this week seemed to be revving up her campaign and preparing to put the abortion support group in charge. According to David Bernstein at WGBH, however, this may be about as good for Clinton as using a private email address for all State Department business.

“[T]here’s little to be upbeat about for the organization,” Bernstein says, pointing out that the numbers of Democrat women in office have been “stagnant or dropping over the past eight years – that is, since the last time EMILY’s List got geared up to elect Clinton President.”

He provides evidence of the cracker-jack job EMILY’s List has done in recent years:

In the 2014 elections, the number of Democratic US Senators dropped from 16 to 14; Tuesday’s speakers avoided mention of losing candidates Alison Lunderman [sic] Grimes, Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu, Michelle Nunn and Natalie Tennant. In the US House, the number of Democratic women inched up to 62, from 61.

Numbers at the state level, where EMILY’s List puts significant effort as well, are worse. Since 2007, the number of elected Democratic statewide officeholders has plunged from 45 to 34, according to Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics. That includes just three Governors, six Attorneys General, and four Treasurers. Democratic women state senators number just 261 now, down from 292 in 2007; and state representatives 811, down from 894.

EMILY’s List made a special effort to elect women Governors in 2014, only to see Mary Burke, Wendy Davis, and Allyson Schwartz join [Martha] Coakley in defeat. Only New Hampshire incumbent Maggie Hassan and Rhode Island’s Gina Raimondo won; the third current Democratic woman Governor, Kate Brown of Oregon, inherited the office when the incumbent resigned in scandal.

“Women are increasingly beating a path to Democratic Party nominations, but losing, along with their male counterparts, to Republicans,” Bernstein writes, adding that the only chance EMILY’s List has of making some headway is by getting young millennial women to vote.

Only the EMILY’s List Baby Boomers, however, still get a thrill up their legs hearing the “war on women” rhetoric. Boomer Democrats will apparently still donate a lot of cash just to hear a Todd “legitimate rape” Akin joke made by List President Stephanie Schriock. While the PAC rakes in contributions, it will also have to figure out a way to appeal to young women.

The picture looks even bleaker when one considers that EMILY’s List is anchored in abortion at a time when more young people are becoming more pro-life and more states are passing abortion restrictions with the blessing of the American people of both political parties.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, has seen the surge in her pro-life organization’s membership across college campuses throughout the nation.

“The abortion industry and those that support it, like EMILY’s List, cannot get millennials out to vote because 59 percent of millennials view abortion as morally wrong, according to a recent Marist survey,” Hawkins told Breitbart News. “They grew up with the technology that clearly shows a human life in the womb and understand the moral gravity of taking that life.”

“Millennial pro-choice women are also less passionate about being pro-choice than pro-life young women are about being pro-life, and that intensity gap plays out at the voting booth,” she added. “Pro-life millennials see abortion as the greatest injustice of our lifetime, while even pro-choice millennials recognize that abortion is a failure of our society and painful decision made when a young woman feels like she has no way out.”

When Boomer Democrats open their wallets to EMILY’s List, they’ll be entrusting their cash to an organization with a now-bleak record and hopes for outreach to a demographic that, philosophically, may no longer share the “abortion is women’s freedom” value.

“It remains far from clear to me … that the group is taking the money from these Boomers and using it to figure out how to appeal to millennial women,” stated Bernstein.


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