A group that seeks to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights to public office has launched a drive in Iowa to help Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House.
Maren Hesla is heading up the project for Emily’s List. She points to an on-line survey which shows a majority of the women who they have identified as Clinton supporters in Iowa have never attended a Caucus. "That made it very clear to us what our target needed to be," she says.
Hesla says polls show rival John Edwards has a solid core of support among commited Caucus-goers. "Among the people who said that their likelihood of Caucusing was a 10, her lead shrunk dramatically. At that point it’s a real horse race with her at 30 and Edwards at 25, I think confirming what everyone has seen," Hesla says. "Among the solid Caucus participants….Edwards is doing better."
Emily’s List has printed an eight-page booklet explaining the Caucus process and they plan to send it to Iowa women who’ve never attended one of the Iowa Democratic Party’s precinct-level meetings before. Hesla says her group’s on-line polling shows those women have lots of questions that need to be answered. "Twenty-six percent of them said they don’t understand the Caucus process," Hesla says. "Another 26 percent said they need more knowledge about the candidates."
According to the survey, many Iowa women believe it will take too long to attend the Caucuses and that the neighborhood meetings will be dominated by political operatives. "So it seemed clear that what we needed to do was help to de-mystify the Caucus process, Hesla says.
In some cases, Emily’s List plans to mail information about the Caucuses to Iowa women who are potential Clinton supporters. In others, an Emily’s List volunteer will hand deliver the materials. "Having somebody show up at your door has been proven to be exceedingly effective," Hesla says. "People tend to say, ‘I don’t want it,’ but then they still then respond positively to it."
Emily List’s has also developed a website — www.yougogirl.com – that offers step-by-step details about what happens in a Caucus.