In the Senate race between Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina of California, 87 percent of the independent expenditures relates to abortion issues. Among these two candidates, pro-life groups so far have spent $186,000, while pro-choice spending amounts to $41,000, according to a review of our independent expenditures database.
The pro-life group, the Susan B. Anthony List, has spent the most money on this issue in that race so far. They’ve invested $166,100 in buying web ads and paying for phone calls in support of Fiorina. They’ve also campaigned against Boxer with Google advertisements, spending $20,000. The National Right to Life committee spent $173 dollars for a newspaper ad supporting Fiorina, while the pro-choice group NARAL spent $38,700 opposing Carly Fiorina with print advertisements. NARAL has also spent $3,480 sending out print materials supporting Boxer.
There was only one group that is not solely focused on abortion issues — Americans for Responsible Health Care — spending money in this race. The group opposed Barbara Boxer with a media advertisement costing $34,130.
Nationally, the Susan B. Anthony List has spent more than $456,000 in independent expenditures to promote four Republican candidates and oppose seven Democrats. National Right to Life has spent $31,700, to support 26 Republican candidates and oppose only one Republican, Rob Portman. NARAL has spent a total of $163,000 in independent expenditures. They supported 43 Democrats, opposed 19 Republicans and one independent, Charlie Crist.
The California senate race is symbolic of a larger network of single-issue groups launching independent expenditures. Other political and independent groups that focus on abortions issues are mounting independent expenditure campaigns in other races. A list of some of those groups include: Women Vote!, Right to Life of Michigan, Planned Parenthood Action Fund Inc., and EMILY's List.