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EMILY’s List Puts 4 More GOP Senators ‘On Notice’

EMILY's List signaled it may spend money against McCain in 2016. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
EMILY's List signaled it may spend money against McCain in 2016. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List, a group that supports Democratic women who back abortion rights, put four more Republican senators “On Notice” Tuesday — a signal the group could spend money to try to topple those incumbents in 2016.  

The four are among Democrats’ top targets next year, when the party will seek to net the five seats necessary to ensure Senate control. All four are likely to face female challengers whom EMILY’s List has endorsed or is looking at endorsing in the coming months.  

Here’s who’s on the list:

  • Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.: McCain starts the race as the front-runner in the Grand Canyon State, which voted for GOP nominee Mitt Romney with 54 percent in 2012. But Democrats, including EMILY’s List, say they’re excited about their candidate, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who they say will be McCain’s strongest opponent yet. Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rating: Leans Republican
  • Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill.: Kirk is arguably the most vulnerable Senator up for re-election in 2016. He will face voters in a state that voted for President Barack Obama by double-digit margins in 2008 and 2012. And Democrats say his likely opponent, Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, makes for a good matchup. Rating: Tilts Democratic
  • Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.: Democrats got their preferred candidate here when Gov. Maggie Hassan announced she would run for Senate in the Granite State, rather than seek a third term as governor. Polling shows a Hassan-Ayotte contest in a dead heat. Rating: Tilts Republican
  • Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C.: Democrats finally got a candidate in former state Rep. Deborah Ross after a number of top-tier recruits passed on the race this year. EMILY’s List has yet to officially endorse Ross’ candidacy. But access to the group’s national fundraising base could help Ross build up a war chest for the contest. Rating: Leans Republican

The four members join Sen. Patrick J. Toomey and a handful of House members on the “On Notice” list — which EMILY’s List reserves for those it says have voted for anti-abortion legislation.  

“Senators Kelly Ayotte, Richard Burr, Mark Kirk, and John McCain all share an extreme ideological agenda that hurts women and families across the country,” Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, said in a news release. “These four vulnerable senators are joining their colleague Pat Toomey ‘On Notice’ because they all have long records of voting for anti-woman legislation and standing in the way of policies that give working families a fair shot.”  


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