Pro-life Republican and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina cruised to victory in Tuesday’s GOP Senate primary, toppling a pro-abortion as well as a pro-life challenger, winning the right to face-off against pro-abort U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer in November.
Fiorina raked in 55 percent of the vote to defeat pro-abort candidate Tom Campbell, a former Congressman once favored to win the nomination. Campbell lost his primary lead over Fiorina mid-May and sank to finish with 23 percent of the vote. Finishing third was pro-life state Assemblyman and “Tea Party” favorite Chuck DeVore with 18 percent.
Both pro-life and pro-family political action groups took credit for helping bring Fiorina to victory, largely by exposing Campbell’s socially liberal positions, which were not well known.
The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, a group dedicated to the election of pro-life women candidates, celebrated Fiorina’s victory Tuesday evening. In the final two-week push before June 8 primary day, SBA List had dedicated $215,000 to the campaign, with the goal of informing 600,000 GOP voters about Fiorina’s pro-life credentials and contrasting them with the views of Campbell.
“Tonight is proof that pro-life feminism has electoral power,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List. “Now let’s carry that momentum into November and elect leaders who will protect unborn children in Congress.”
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) also engaged heavily in the effort to defeat Campbell. Brian Brown, President of NOM, said his organization rolled out ads and robo-calls to 600,000 voters starting May 19. These ads highlighted Campbell’s simpatico with Boxer on a number of liberal issues, not the least of which was Campbell’s opposition to Proposition 8, the California amendment defining marriage as only the union of a man and a woman.
“It’s clear that Tom Campbell’s support for gay marriage played a major factor in his shellacking in the Republican primary for US Senate,” said Brian Brown, president of NOM.
“Just as we proved in ending Dede Scozzafava‘s career in New York, we have shown tonight that Republican support of gay marriage is a career ending position. We will continue to play a leading role in letting voters know where candidates stand on marriage,” added Brown.
With the hard fought GOP battle royal now at an end, Fiorina will now have to set her sights on a far more strenuous campaign to unseat Boxer. The Democrat is a 17-year incumbent who has been one of the U.S. Senate’s foremost advocates of protecting and expanding legal abortion.
All of the Real Clear Politics polls in the month of May show Boxer with an average 6.8 percentage point lead over Fiorina, who will have until November to make her case to California voters.
Chuck DeVore endorsed Fiorina in his concession speech last night, and encouraged his followers to support her in November. However, DeVore made clear to an LA Times reporter that Fiorina will have to earn the trust of his supporters.
“They don’t follow me, they follow the principles I was espousing,” DeVore said of his following. “If she keeps on espousing those principles, they’ll gladly follow her.
“To the extent that she brings them in, it makes it easier for me to encourage them to put their shoulder to the wheel to do the same.”