Victory for the environment in key national races

Polling data shows that the environment rated as a top issue in targeted races

provided by The League of Conservation Voters

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) declared victory for the environment in key Congressional races across the country. After running the largest "hard money" campaigns in history on behalf of the environment, the LCV Action Fund helped defeat nine vulnerable, anti-environment Congressional candidates that the group named to its "Dirty Dozen" list earlier in the year. At a post-election news conference, LCV released polling data from the races proving that a candidate's stance on the environment was a deciding factor for how voters cast their ballot.

"Election Day was a great day for voter turnout, it was an excellent day for the environment, and it was a terrible day for anti-environment candidates named to the Dirty Dozen," said LCV president Deb Callahan. "Especially in the incredibly tight Senate races in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Nevada, the environment made a real margin of difference. The Dirty Dozen campaigns elevated the environmental issue and helped guarantee that some of the country's most strident environmental foes will not be returning to Congress."

The Dirty Dozen campaigns played a role in the defeat of Sen. Lauch Faircloth (R-NC), Reps. Mark Neumann (R-WI), John Ensign (R-NV), Linda Smith (R-WA), and Bob Inglis (R-SC) all running for Senate, Reps. Bill Redmond (R-NM) and Rick White (R-WA), former Rep. Bob Dornan (R-CA) and CA state assemblyman Tom Bordonaro (R-CA).

The LCV Action Fund spent $2.3 million to inform voters about the anti-environment records of the Dirty Dozen candidates through 5,147 fact-based television ads, 201,500 pieces of direct issue persuasion mail, more than 227,500 Get-Out-The-Vote telephone calls, 38,000 leaflets, 130 media releases and effective grass-roots organizing efforts from 16 campaign organizers in the field.

"The Dirty Dozen campaigns are hard-hitting political campaigns that empower voters by giving them factual information they can use in deciding how to cast their ballot," Callahan said. "When voters learn that their Representative or Senator consistently votes against environmental and public health concerns, it becomes a powerful reason to vote against them."

Polling conducted for LCV by Green-berg-Quinlan Research from Nov. 1-2, demonstrated a strong connection between environmental messages and the outcomes of the Dirty Dozen races. Overall, the polling showed that environmental concerns cut across broad partisan and ideological lines, with 84 percent of voters in the seven races polled saying that the environment is either a very important (40 percent) or somewhat important (44 percent) factor in their voting decisions. The poll results also reveal that a clean environment is regarded as essential to health and a safe quality of life in the eyes of voters and that politicians who do not pay close attention to these concerns face possible defeat in the future.

The LCV Action Fund also raised more than $350,000 for pro-environment candidates, primarily the ten candidates named to its "EarthList" of dependable environmental leaders in tough election bids, all of whom won their races. LCV Action Fund endorsed 94 pro-environment candidates, 90 percent of whom were successful. The group also coordinated with Robert Redford to record radio ads that aired in two dozen districts.

The nonprofit League of Conservation Voters is the bipartisan political voice for the environment. LCV is the only national organization dedicated full-time to holding Members of Congress accountable for their environmental records. Since 1970, LCV has published the National Environmental Scorecard that assigns a percentage score for each U.S. Representative and Senator based on the year's key environmental votes. The LCV Action Fund is LCV's political action committee.