Pro-Abortion, Pro-Life Candidates Got Big Bucks in Elections

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 2, 2010   |   1:54PM   |   Washington, DC

To hear some media outlets and political pundits tell the story, the issue of abortion barely resonated in this year’s midterm Congressional elections.

But the spending by pro-life and pro-abortion groups tells a different tale.

The pro-life women’s group Susan B. Anthony List released a list of key numbers from its election campaign today showing $11 million raised and spent in the 2010 election cycle — an increase over the $8 million raised in the 2008 election cycle and the $5 million raised in the 2006 cycle.
The group spent $3.4 million on its Votes Have Consequences Project, $2.3 million supporting pro-life women candidates, and $1.4 million spent defeating pro-abortion incumbents and protecting pro-life leaders. Those figures resulted in 2.3 million pieces of voter mail dropped in 42 House districts held by Democrat incumbents, who voted for pro-abortion Obamacare.
Candidate contributions from SBA List members topped $600,000 including $112,000 raised for Michele Bachmann and her political action committee in Minnesota, $65,000 for Sharron Angle in Nevada, and $87,000 for Carly Fiorina in California. SBA List made a $11,000 campaign contribution for Susana Martinez, the pro-life New Mexico gubernatorial candidate, which was more than any other PAC donated.
The group put $195,000 behind Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, $577,000 behind Fiorina, and invested $270,000 for Angle — with the numbers combining member contributions with SBA-raised voted education and promotion efforts.
But the Center for Responsive Politics reports the pro-abortion side heavily invested as well — and potentially put more pro-abortion money in play than pro-life groups were able to fund pro-life candidates.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York was the top recipient of direct funding from pro-abortion PACs, getting $75,700. Missouri Senate candidate Robin Carnahan received $51,500 from abortion groups in her race against Rep. Roy Blunt, the pro-life candidate. Incumbent Sen. Patty Murray of Washington received a hefty $45,750 from abortion advocates against pro-life Dino Rossi.
Other top recipients of pro-abortion money included Suzan DelBene, Democratic House candidate in Washington; pro-abortion Illinois Senate candidate and Republican Rep. Mark Kirk; Martha Coakley, Democratic Senate candidate in Massachusetts; Rep. Paul Hodes, the New Hampshire Senate candidate, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, Rep. Scott Murphy of New York and Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado.
CRP reports the top pro-life candidates in terms of direct campaign money received from pro-life groups includes Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey; Marco Rubio, Republican Senate candidate in Florida; Bachmann of Minnesota, Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Republican Senate candidate in Delaware; Fiorina, and Allen West, Republican House candidate in Florida.
The group identified the top pro-life election organizations — saying 59 percent of pro-life campaign funding came from SBA, the National Right to Life Committee and its affiliates and the Republican National Coalition for Life. On the other hand, 51 percent of pro-abortion campaign funding came from NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood and Republican Majority for Choice.
Predictably, with Republicans mostly pro-life and Democrats mostly pro-abortion, CRP indicates: “With the exception of the abortion rights group Republican Majority for Choice, more than 90 percent of money from the top PACs supportive of abortion rights is going to Democrats. The top PACs opposing abortion rights have all given at least 80 percent of funds to Republicans.”
Ultimately, CRP indicates pro-abortion groups outspent their pro-life counterparts, but its report only covers direct contributions to candidates and groups like SBA and NRLC spent most of their election money on independent expenditures – helping pro-life candidate son their own through advertising, mailings and get-out-the-vote efforts.