The election is over and the analysis begins, and the first thing to do is evaluate how various action groups did when it comes to their proclaimed electoral wins and losses. First on the deck is the anti-choice action group the Susan B. Anthony List.
Much news media coverage had tried to paint the group as a conservative counterpart to EMILY’S List, despite the fact that seeing women succeed in elections was almost an afterthought to their campaigning. Now, the election results are in and we can see where their priorities really were.
According to the group’s scorecard, of the 90 races they weighed in on, their candidates won 60 and lost 18. But once you begin to look at their numbers you see that a majority of their wins are either status quo or putting men in seats that previously held women.
The group endorsed in four senate races: Nevada, New Hampshire, California and Delaware, with New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte being their only win. All four of their endorsed candidates for governor won, as well as both lieutenant governors and their sole secretary of state candidate. They had split results on Attorney General, winning Florida but losing Iowa, despite the fact that Iowa elected an anti-choice governor and rejected the three judges who voted to allow gay marriage in the state.
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Out of 21 House races in which they endorsed women candidates, they won 14 of them, for a 2/3rds rate of winning, although many of the races were ones in which they endorsed incumbents.
So of actual endorsed female candidates, the SBA List had a list of 34 endorsed contenders and won 24 of those races, again returning about a 2/3rds winning rate
However, SBA List, if it did in fact play a role in the eventual voting results, had a great impact on actually eliminating anti-abortion votes in congress in the name of punishing those who voted for healthcare reform. In their “votes have consequences” push, the group claims it took out 16 anti-choice Democratic votes, more votes than they “won” in the female House races they endorsed in. They also claim to have taken down only 12 “pro-abortion” congressional candidates, out of a targeted 28 candidates. Not so impressive in what was declared a Republican wave election year.
Where did the SBA list have the most success? “Support[ing] pro-life men running against pro-abortion women and protect our pro-life stalwarts.” Yes, when it came down to just helping Republican men, especially those who ran against women, the group was nearly universally successful, “winning” all but one to three campaigns (Alaska and Washington senate races are still too close to call) out of 19 targeted races.
It’s easy to see where Susan B. Anthony List’s priorities really lay when they tout their electoral successes, and it’s very obviously not with women.