Incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is an interesting lacuna in the organization's roster of endorsees. EMILY's List's stated mission is to elect pro-choice Democratic women candidates ("Emily" stands for "Early Money Is Like Yeast"), and its fundraising emails have consistently emphasized the importance of holding the Senate. But in its latest email blasts, Landrieu's name is nowhere to be seen.
The organization's website includes Landrieu on a list titled “Women We Helped Elect.” And per the Center for Responsive Politics, EMILY's List has been Landrieu's single largest supporter since 1995.
But in this election cycle, that help seems to have vaporized.
The group didn't respond to requests for comment on the current nature of its relationship with the senior senator from Louisiana. And the New Orleans Times-Picayune has reported that the group stopped supporting her in 2002 after she voted for a partial-birth abortion ban.
Today, more than a decade of pro-choice votes — and a zero-percent rating from National Right to Life for her votes in the 113th Congress, to boot — doesn't seem to have put her back in the group’s good graces. So in what looks to be a tight, pricey, important race, Landrieu’s top donor will be absent.
This isn't just about fundraising emails, either. Stephanie Schriock, the group's president, went on MSNBC's "The Reid Report" on March 11 to discuss competitive races with female Democratic candidates, and a map aired on screen labelled “2014 Women to Watch.” The map featured pictures of Michelle Nunn, Alison Lundergan Grimes, and Kay Hagan, as well as nine other Democratic candidates in competitive races.
But Landrieu — running in a hotly contested race that could determine which party controls the Senate — was conspicuously absent. Not making Emily’s proverbial list means the senator misses out on free advertising opportunities like that.
Pelican State Republicans seem pleased.
"Mary's going to need all the friends she can get,” said Josh Robinson, who works for a super PAC that supports Republican Bill Cassidy. “If she's losing friends on the Left, it doesn't give her much of a fighting chance."
EMILY’s List isn’t the only prominent left-leaning group to stay out of the race. National Journal’s Clare Foran reported that only one environmental organization has given to her campaign in the last year.
And while those groups have stayed out, Republicans have increased their efforts in the state. Jason Doré, the executive director of the Republican Party of Louisiana, said his group plans to have about 10 offices opened around the state within the next few months. Five are open already, thanks to funding and support from the RNC.
“Usually this stuff is all done last-minute,” Doré said. “We’ve been at this since the end of last year.”
Landrieu put up TV ads in December that pushed back against ads from Americans for Prosperity. The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List will also run ads targeting Landrieu.