Just a month ago, not too many people in Washington were paying any attention to
upstate New York. It was just another sleepy special election, in just another safe
Republican seat. But EMILY's List was watching.
We already knew Kathy Hochul -- and what a strong campaigner she was. And when
most were dismissing her chances, EMILY's List decided to join Kathy in her fight.
We were on the ground in New York months ago, and endorsed back in April. And our
community (almost a million strong) has been fired up to take over this long-shot seat
ever since. They haven't just donated their money, they donated their time, with hundreds
of volunteers making thousands of those critical GOTV calls.
And it worked. Democrats needed 25 House seats to send John Boehner and the
Republicans back to the minority. Now it's 24. Turns out, engaging in a cradle to grave
assault on American women is not a compelling electoral strategy.
Republicans have alienated older women by trying to take away their Medicare. They've
alienated younger women by trying to take away their birth control. And they've
alienated anyone with a sense of decency by pulling stunts like redefining rape so some
are legally 'worse' than others.
Voters are rejecting the radical GOP agenda. The 2011 special elections just mean they
get to do it sooner.
Yesterday, EMILY's List endorsed in the next election, the special in California's 36th
district, where Democratic councilwoman Janice Hahn faces Craig Huey, a Republican
self-funder who believes in making it harder for women to get cancer screenings.
It's no coincidence that Democratic women candidates are appearing in every corner of
the country just as Republicans pursue their most viciously anti-woman agenda ever.
Democratic women are motivated to take those seats back, and we know how to win.
EMILY's List did research following the 2010 election that told us two things:
- Republicans only won because Democratic women stayed home and independents voted GOP.
- Women only voted for Republicans because they talked about job creation.
So what have Republicans done? Pulled a massive bait and switch. That jobs creation
agenda went right out the window to be replaced by one focused on shredding the safety
net American women rely on to keep themselves and their families healthy.
But our research told us a third thing: Women voters need to get their information from
sources they trust. And that's where we all come in. It's up to all of us to spend the next
18 months talking to our friends, neighbors, families, Facebook acquaintances, tweeps.
Just like the EMILY's List volunteers who picked up their cell phones, in cities and
towns across this country, to call women in New York and let them know what was at
stake in Kathy Hochul's campaign, we have to keep communicating with women voters.
The Republican war on women is personal. And if we all treat it that way, if we all own
that responsibility, that's our roadmap to victory.
So if you don't want your sister or your wife to lose her birth control, join us. If you want
Medicare to exist for both your mom and your kids, join us. If you think taking away
women's access to health care is the worst thing you could do to destabilize a family,
here's what to do about it: www.emilyslist.org.
The best way to stop the Republican war on women is to put Democratic women in
office. EMILY's List is doing just that, one election at a time.
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