Tough Choices, and Criticism, for Emily’s List as Democratic Women Flood Primaries - Only Hit Lyrics

Tough Choices, and Criticism, for Emily’s List as Democratic Women Flood Primaries

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“It becomes a kind of Catch-22,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. “One of their criteria is the issue of viability, but without their endorsement, viability becomes very tough, because so many people use them as their barometer of, ‘Oh, does this woman have a chance?’”

Emily’s List has also faced criticism that it does not do enough to lift up women of color. Nina Turner, an African-American former state senator from Ohio who was endorsed by Emily’s List when she ran for secretary of state in 2014, said minorities may face higher hurdles than white women in raising money, because they are less likely to come from wealthy circles.

“I got the money late when I needed it early because they were judging my ability to fund-raise more than where I stood on the issues,” Ms. Turner said, adding, “I don’t think they take into consideration the hurdles that black and Hispanic women have to jump when you judge viability.”

Ms. Schriock said Emily’s List does recognize “the obstacles that are particularly in front of women of color.”

“Do we have to do more?” she asked. “Absolutely, as does the party.”

In the Georgia governor’s primary, race — and a chance to make history — was “a big piece,” but not the only consideration, in Emily’s List’s decision to endorse Ms. Abrams, who is African-American, Ms. Schriock said. Ms. Abrams, a former minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, has a national profile and a longstanding relationship with Emily’s List, which gave her its rising star award in 2014. If elected, she would become the nation’s first black female governor.

She has also outraised Ms. Evans, reporting nearly $3.3 million in campaign contributions, according to campaign filings in Georgia, compared with $2.6 million for Ms. Evans.

Some political analysts say that Ms. Evans might have broader appeal with white moderates and thus a better chance of winning a Georgia general election. Ms. Schriock disagrees. She says Emily’s List is counting on Ms. Abrams, who is favored to win the primary, to expand the Democratic electorate by pulling in black and Latino voters who might not otherwise go to the polls.

The Georgia WIN List, Georgia’s equivalent of Emily’s List, has remained neutral in the campaign.

“For us to have chosen between the two, it would have destroyed my organization,” said Melita Easters, the group’s chairwoman.



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