Excellent work, wingnuts:
The fragile gains Republicans had been making among female voters have been erased by what in recent weeks has become a national shouting match over reproductive issues, potentially handing President Obama and the Democrats an enormous advantage this fall.
In the 2010 congressional midterm elections, Republican candidates ran evenly with Democrats among women, a break with long-established trends. That was a major reason the GOP regained control of the House.
Now, female voters appear to be swinging back to Democrats.
When the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey asked last summer which party should control Congress, a slim 46-42 percent plurality of women said it should be the Democrats.
But in a survey released Monday, compiling polling since the beginning of the year, that figure had widened considerably to a 15-point advantage for the Democrats, according to polling by the team of Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff. Fifty-one percent favored Democratic control; only 36 percent wanted to see the Republicans in charge.
Both sides have tried to shape the narrative in this battle for and about women. But many Republicans are beginning to wish they had never waded into what has become a heated conversation over contraception, who should have it and what it says about people who use it.
The best part is, as we have seen with their continued assault on Latinos and the black community, is that the Republicans will not learn:
When the hysteria peaked with l’affaire Limbaugh last week, there was general bewilderment over whether Rush understood that the birth-control pill is not female Viagra, that a woman takes the same daily dosage of estrogen and progestin regardless of whether she’s going to have sex one time, a thousand times, or zero times (entirely leaving aside the fact that three out of five women take the pill for reasons having nothing to do with sex or pregnancy). Perhaps indeed it’s true that someone previously investigated for an oxycontin addiction would be of the mind-set to think of the pill in these terms; more likely, however—since no clear-headed person ever has called Limbaugh stupid—is that he understands the basics of contraception but wasn’t going to let them get in the way of invoking for his program’s listeners the sexual spectacle of orgiastic women caught on videotape. Thus the Limbaugh comments about Sandra Fluke transparently were not those of a naïf but rather a bully at best and a pervert at worst, with many shades of creep lying between the two. When women of whatever political stripe heard Limbaugh, they heard several millennia of familiar male piggery.
Just on cravenly political grounds, the response of the right should be more stupefying than it was. John McCain (whose condemnation of Limbaugh has been bracingly unequivocal and dishearteningly rare among conservatives) polled 43 percent of all women voters in 2008. At the rate the Republican Party is going, it will struggle to get 33 percent in 2012, leaving the party to try scaring up seven out of ten men (whom women outvote). That none of this had any apparent impact on Tuesday night’s result, that the candidates showed no more cognizance of what happened these past eight days with the female electorate than they did the Tuesday before or the Tuesday before that, and that Romney’s opportunism was so determinedly unfazed may mean—in terms of Republican prospects in November—that the more things stay the same, the more they change, and not for the better.
At this point, all I have to say is Onward, Christian Soldiers. Keep up the fight. Leave no contraceptive alone.