Abortion issues dominate independent expenditures in California Senate race


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.