The League of Conservation Voters’ (LCV) Action Fund claims its ‘hard money’ campaign on behalf of the environment helped defeat nine anti-environment Congressional candidates, dubbed the ‘Dirty Dozen’ by the group.

Following the elections, LCV released polling data that appeared to show that a candidate’s stance on the environment was a deciding factor in how voters cast their ballot.

“Election Day was a great day for voter turn-out, it was an excellent day for the environment, and it was a terrible day for 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 LCV claims it 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 nine candidates through 5,147 TV ads, 201,500 pieces of direct mail, over 227,500 telephone calls, 38,000 leaflets, 130 media releases and organising efforts from 16 campaign organisers in the field.

“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,” Callahan said.

Polling conducted for LCV by Greenberg-Quinlan Research from November 1-2, appeared to show a connection between environmental messages and the outcomes of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ races. The polling showed that environmental concerns cut across ideological lines, with 84 per cent of voters in the seven races polled saying that the environment is either a very important (40 per cent) or somewhat important (44 per cent) factor in their voting decisions. The poll results also reveal 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 environmental leaders in tough election bids, all of whom won their races. LCV Action Fund endorsed 94 pro-environment candidates, 90 per cent of whom were successful.

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