The little girls, they understand

Even in the early days of SlutGate, when it was all about Real Murkins heeding the might Bishops’ call to arms, and not yet about oxycontin-addicted perverts getting hit with boycotts, a bunch of you said this might be a Schiavo moment for the Republican party. You were wrong. It’s bigger:

“The biggest change came among women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney’s support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30%. The president leads him 2-1 in this group.”


Romney pollster Neil Newhouse told USA Today that the numbers would narrow and that the drop was not Romney’s fault. He chalked the difference up to a partisan gender gap. That’s historically true — but not at the levels found in the poll. It showed: By 41 percent to 24 percent, women call themselves Democrats; men by 27 percent to 25 percent say they’re Republicans.

Even the liberal Atrios agrees that Obama has been good in the War On Women.

More and more, the culture war bullshit works in our favor. Democrats need to find new ways to draw Republicans into suicidal “cultural” jihads.

73 replies
  1. 1
    Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937 says:

    If Romney really works it, I’m sure he’ll get that approval down to the magic 27 percent.

  2. 2
    Gex says:

    Never fear. As we are now openly debating child labor laws, we will be debating women’s suffrage soon enough. There are already libertarians arguing that’s where America went wrong.

    “Taking back” of their country means exactly what you think it means, once you realize who’s “gotten” in the last 50 years and who has decided that means they must necessarily have “lost.”

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    I really don’t understand why they chose this particular fight. Enraging millions of American women in order to please a German pope who cannot vote in our elections seems like a dumb move, but hey, what do I know.

  4. 4
    wrb says:

    When ev’rybody is-a tryin’ to sleep

    I’m-a somewhere makin’ my midnight creep

    An ev’ry mo’nin when the rooster crows

    He’s tellin’ me that it’s the time to go
    Well, they took me to the doctor

    Shot full of holes

    The nurse she cried, ‘Save his soul!’

    I was ‘cussed of murder in first degree

    The judge wife cried, ‘Let the man go free!’

  5. 5
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Obama’s overall numbers are steady or dropping, though. Are we sure the open Republican misogyny isn’t attracting more men than it alienates women?

  6. 6
    frogspawn says:

    Republican strategist Sara Taylor Fagen, a former political adviser to President George W. Bush, told USA Today that “The focus on contraception has not been a good one for us … and Republicans have unfairly taken on water on this issue.”

    “We had no idea that blowing the scuttling charges would cause us to unfairly take on water!”

  7. 7
    jesus h. tapdancing christ says:

    Vaginal Probes = FREEDOM

  8. 8
    David Koch says:

    But on Friday, Halperin and Tweety said that we should ignore the double-digit lead Obama has in various polls because in reality, it is really a toss-up.

  9. 9
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:


    Great song. I actually like the Willie Dixon version even better than Howlin’ Wolf.

  10. 10
    slag says:

    Even the liberal Atrios that Obama has been good in the War On Women.


    ETA Did atrios post this video of Obama’s outreach to Planned Parenthood supporters: I feel like it should be included in every post dedicated to the Republican’s War on Women. You know…for balance.

  11. 11
    David Koch says:

    Even the liberal Atrios that Obama has been good in the War On Women.

    Atrios has gone soft in his old age. Axlerod must be blackmailing him to say nice things about barry.

  12. 12
    Anonymous At Work says:

    “It’s the partisan gender gap’s fault, not Romney’s fault”? Really? When Romney has either supported or been silent on the issues that have caused the gender gap? This is something that will be brought up during the general and should be, repeatedly.

  13. 13
    wrb says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    Yes it is.

    I haven’t heard Willie’s version in years, and can’t remember it clearly.

    I’ll have to check it out.

    Wolf’s is pretty great.

  14. 14
    Delia says:

    No one could have predicted that the repugs would finally take their Kulturkampf to the point that part of their base would finally realize they were voting against their self-interest.

    The next question is: what bearing does this development have on the theory of the wingularity?

  15. 15
    Yutsano says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Uhh…what? Apples are still not oranges yet you still compare the two.

  16. 16
    piratedan says:

    well good girls vote, yeah good girls vote….oops, sorry was having a 1979 flashback.

  17. 17
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ @ Top:

    Democrats need to find new ways to draw Republicans into suicidal “cultural” jihads.

    It shouldn’t be that difficult. If Fluke’s testimony is any guide, we should be able to “trick” the GOP & Conservatives into a complete meltdown by having a brown person testify to Congress that Hispanics are people too.

    Or we could get a child to testify against child farm labor.


  18. 18
    Pavonis says:

    So now the Republicans will be saying we should let the uninsured just drop dead in the streets, if Justice Scalia is any guide. This should lose the Republicans the Christian vote. I say “should”, though, not that it’s going to happen. It seems like many of the right-wing Christians think the religion is all about sticking it to the gays and wanton women.

  19. 19
    MattF says:

    So… there are, in fact, some voters who are not elderly, white, male, Evangelical Southerners. Imagine that. And I might add, speaking personally, that there’s a good number of white males who don’t hate women either, truth to tell.

  20. 20
    Some Guy says:


    Republicans have always been able to make up the difference because of both sides do it and DFHs.

  21. 21
    JGabriel says:


    So now the Republicans will be saying we should let the uninsured just drop dead in the streets …

    Now? No, they’ve been saying that for a while. Remember the Republican debates “Let him die” moment, and the crowd’s enthusiastic consent?


  22. 22
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Republicans partyin’ like it’s 1903!

  23. 23
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    I actually like the Willie Dixon version even better than Howlin’ Wolf.

    I’m betting that it was written by Willie…

    I saw Willie perform once… w/ James Cotton and the Chicago Blues All-Stars… upstate NY, in the early 70’s… had matt Murphy in that band… Pinetop Perkins… wonderful show…

    But I digress from the topic at hand…

    Other than Republican males, who could possibly be surprised that women are abandoning the GOOP in droves?

    I was telling my friends, about day 3 of the Limbaugh Meltdown, that the GOOPers had just handed the WH to Obama in Nov because of this…

    I’m guessing it took the pollsters this long to figure it out because American political reporting is still pretty much a white male’s game, w/ the likes of Rich “Starbursts” Lowry and Erick “Voice of the Gated Community” Son of Erick on the trail… and Lord knows, THOSE human dildeaus (the French spelling) have NO IDEA what women think, or feel… and apparently couldn’t care less…

    Back to Willie Dixon, and Howlin’ Wolf…

    Doug, if you’ve never seen any of these, you’re in for a treat…

    FABULOUS footage… by and large…

    And don’t let the all-white audiences creep you out… read the back story before reacting…

  24. 24
    MattF says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Could be that the red states and the blue states are getting more polarized as time goes on. If that’s what’s happening, then Romney suddenly losing all the purple states is a big deal.

  25. 25
    Delia says:


    And I might add, speaking personally, that there’s a good number of white males who don’t hate women either, truth to tell.

    I assume there are also a good number of white males who don’t want a couple of truckloads of children to support.

  26. 26

    @piratedan: That’s what I love about the Balloon Juice commentariat: No matter how obscure the pop-culture reference, there’s a non-zero chance at least one other Juicer will get it.

  27. 27
    jwb says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I don’t trust the change in numbers: they shifted fairly markedly for no particular reason and then stabilized. My guess is that a couple of the major polling outfits changed the mix of voters in order to keep the polls looking even. Also, I never trust TPM on polls: its whole existence is predicated on poll-based concern trolling.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Polish the Guillotines: There really is a knack for it here.

  29. 29
    wrb says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity:
    Believe it or not it was written by pop tunesmiths Sammy Stept (Russian immigrant) and Sid Mitchell

    Stept is author of “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (with anyone else but me),” “Johnny Get your Gun,” “Laughing Irish Eyes,” “Moonbeams” and “Please Don’t Talk about Me When I’m Gone.

    Willie did write many great songs though.

  30. 30
    gbear says:

    I see some last-minute voter ‘protection’ laws where women will need to have their identity verified by their husbands before they’re allowed to cast a ballot.

    You know they want to…

  31. 31
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity:

    I will check those out.

  32. 32
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: Well, now, nobody’s mentioning the Jim Morrison/Doors version. Which is how it should be. Talk about an execrable version of that song.

  33. 33
    Linda says:


    The emails from the National Organization for Marriage pretty much say it all: they emphasize the need to push a “defense of religious freedom” angle to cover their gay-hating butts. Anti-birth control and gay groups feel they will share in the goodwill that lots of Americans feels towards religious organizations. But it has backfired for all around; rather than sharing in goodwill towards the church, the church is slimed in association with bigots. Talk about your unintended consequences.

  34. 34

    Democrats need to find new ways to draw Republicans into suicidal “cultural” jihads.

    Dude, are you kidding? We don’t need to do any such thing! We just need to have a fucking bucket of water ready when the Republican Taliban walks oh so willingly through that door of their own accord. We don’t need to trip them up, they’re falling all over themselves without any help from us. What we are really bad at is capitalizing on it.

    For example: fuck Lisa Murkowski who voted for that stupid GOP anti-birth control bill, the Blunt Amendment. And then she immediately regretted it. We need to have some kind of messaging ready to go when people like this are suddenly all “woopsies! My bad!” Point out every other wingnutty thing she said or did to cater to the Fetus Fetish crowd and repeat the message, over and over again, that this is EXACTLY who these people are, no matter how much they want to present themselves otherwise.


  35. 35
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    They are EXCELLENT

    The creme de la creme of the Chicago blues scene…

    As I understand it, the Beatles pretty much wiped out the commercial blues industry in the states at the time, and almost overnight musicians like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Sonny Boy Williamson were outta work…

    Three German guys pooled some money and put together these traveling blues shows – The American Folk Blues Festivals – took ’em all over Europe, which is why the audiences are almost 100% white… the shows were wildly popular and the promoters had the foresight to film a lot of the performers… quality 16 mm footage, I believe…

    Totally first rate film…

  36. 36
    mk3872 says:

    They can start by putting marriage equality on the 2012 Dem national committee platform

  37. 37
    J says:

    Good! but the mystery of how so many women (or men, or human beings) could have supported the Republicans in the first place remains. Until it’s solvede, I have no confidence that it couldn’t happen again. After the eight horrible years of Bush/Republican ascendancy, the Republicans should have been in the political wilderness for at least a decade. Instead after a few months they came roaring back, more vicious, mendacious and pernicious than ever, and they did so because people, who should know better, who had mountains of evidence that the Republican party is made up of hateful creeps working tirelessly to make the world a worse place for the 99%, voted for them.

  38. 38
    Matt McIrvin says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how things are shaking out when we get into the phase of the campaign where there’s enough state-by-state polling to track electoral votes.

  39. 39
    Peter says:

    @mk3872: Hmm…I don’t know if we’re quite there yet. Marriage equality polls a lot better than it used to, there’s no denying that, but I’m not yet confident that it’s a vote winner.

    Note that this is a purely tactical concern and should not be taken as a criticism of marriage equality as the RIGHT policy choice.

  40. 40
    Baud says:


    Historically typical of a President’s first midterm.

    Doesn’t make it right.

  41. 41
    Betsy says:

    Great news.

    Even better news: the bitchesz have loooooooooong memories. Welcome to the permanent feminist majority, GOP loozers.

    (recovering) So, did y’all see the most excellent new Frank Rich piece on the War on Women?

  42. 42
    rikyrah says:

    it’s been a series of ‘isolated incidents’

    that were neither




    that have created a nice iron 2×4 that has slapped upside the head even the most apolitical of women.

    I know, because I used to tell these women what the GOP was all about , and I was told that I had to be ‘ imagining things’.

    Well now…

    they see.

    And, yes, I do say ‘I told you so’.

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @efgoldman: Well, the GOP gains in 2010 were greater than historical opp party gains in off year elections, so I will continue to look askance at our collective failure to show up at the polls.

    The suprise was how far off the deep end the TeaTards have taken the GOBP,

    True — the GOP has not been this undisciplined and overtly radical in my lifetime. I hope it matters to folks at election time.

  44. 44
    Gex says:

    @mk3872: Nice! Unfortunately that would still drive more votes away from Dems than it would get. There’s a reason why they’re anti-anti-SSM, but not pro-SSM. We’ve yet to have a marriage amendment fail, so we are still at supermajority against until proven otherwise.

  45. 45
    Peter says:

    @efgoldman: As soon as I posted it I realized I should have said ‘vote-neutral or better’.

    Like, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it is or isn’t. I don’t know. And if it’s not going to lose votes then yes, yes, ofthe love of god please do put it in the platform. But historically it’s been a loser, so I’d want to see numbers indicating that public opinion has sufficiently shifted before committing to supporting that (for whatever little my support is worth)

  46. 46
    piratedan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: excuse me, I believe your “tou” is on my “che'”….

  47. 47
    Gex says:

    You know, if they go with these personhood laws, the Plan B pill should just be called the “eviction notice.” Make them say out loud, to everyone that the woman is outranked in terms of personhood when they deny the landlord of the tiny person that right.

  48. 48
    Gex says:

    @rikyrah: Enjoy every “I told you so” you get to say. People who don’t understand the “first they came for the Xs but I was not an X so I did nothing” need it rubbed in their fucking faces. We didn’t get here without their help.

  49. 49
    grandpa john says:

    rasmussen is up to their usual tricks so that when their numbers are included, the average is lowered. RCP daily list of polls for example , on Obamas favorability has 6 polls listed . rasmussen tracking is the only one show a negative. People should remember for president the national numbers mean zip, it is the state polling that is significant. RCP currently shows Obama with 227 EV, romney with 180, ten states are tossup 130 . Of those ten states Obama is currently leading the polling ave. in 9, and that includes Fl, Va, OH, and Pa.

  50. 50
    grandpa john says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Check the RCP site they have an electoral map up with the numbers and current poll averages of all the states

  51. 51
    Steve says:

    @Peter: Your thinking makes me very sad. Don’t put a civil rights plank in the platform until it’s proven to be an electoral winner? I guess I’m glad my civil rights aren’t at the mercy of that kind of thought process…

  52. 52
    liberal says:


    Neither party has been this undisciplined and overtly radical in my lifetime (I’m 66) nor, in Congress, probably since the Civil War.

    The Democrats, undisciplined? Probably hard to refute.

    Radical? LOL.

  53. 53
    Valdivia says:

    can someone explain to me why there is an assumption that Romney can simply erase his primary persona and run a brand new campaign once he is crowned?

  54. 54
    Splitting Image says:


    The Democrats, undisciplined? Probably hard to refute.
    Radical? LOL.

    I think efgoldman is saying that the GOP today is more radical than either party ever was, not that the Democrats today are more radical than they ever were.

  55. 55
    Jess says:

    @Betsy: Great article–thanks for the link!

  56. 56
    Splitting Image says:


    can someone explain to me why there is an assumption that Romney can simply erase his primary persona and run a brand new campaign once he is crowned?

    Because he’s done it a few times already and it hasn’t hurt him enough to make him unelectable?

    I think his handlers may be sorely disappointed though. It’s true that everybody panders to the base in the primary and to the middle in the election, but the idea is usually that you keep the same platform and emphasize different parts of it depending on who you are pandering to. This business of saying one thing on Monday and saying the opposite before the week is out is fairly new.

  57. 57
    Gus says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: Blasphemy! Willie wrote it, but the Wolf perfected it.

  58. 58
    Gex says:

    @Splitting Image: The problem they have is they have gone so bug-fuck crazy having a black president, they can’t have their “who hates anyone who isn’t a straight white Christian male the most” policy debates quietly. “Independents” and apoliticals can hear it loud and clear and will notice the bait and switch.

  59. 59
    Gus says:

    I’ve been reading about how demographics, radical positions, Rush Limbaugh’s stupid fat mouth, etc. are going to doom the GOP. Meanwhile, they’re on target to hold on to the House, the Senate is a tossup, and the Supreme Court is packed with wingnuts who are destroying centuries of precedent. Wingnut state legislatures are enshrining bigotry against gays, poll taxes in the form of voter ID laws and “right to work” in their constitutions. By the time demographics, etc. make a difference the damage will have been done. I don’t see where the optimism comes from.

  60. 60
    Gex says:

    @Gus: Tumbrels?

  61. 61

    @Valdivia: Two reasons: at least 27% who will vote for Beelzebub himself if that’s who’s listed on the ticket next to “R” and 27% who Those groups overlap but may exceed the magic 27% in total. For them Rmoney’s current/general persona isn’t an issue. Then there are the folks who pay no attention to the campaigns this early, and will have no knowledge of the current persona. Some of whom (27%?) will not believe the current persona existed even (especially) when shown audio and video evidence therof. And some will just truly not notice it was aver a different persona.

    Fuck it, now I’ve bummed myself out. But that’s kinda how it can happen. Clearly, the DNC ads should demonstrate the current persona in all its flippy, callous to the circumstances of the 99% glory. Repeatedly.

  62. 62
    Valdivia says:

    @Splitting Image:

    I think so too. But people keep saying he will be able to do it.

  63. 63
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:


    It’s not an assumption, it’s wishful thinking.

  64. 64
    Valdivia says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    I think it will be impossible for him to brainwash people who are not already predisposed to believe the R line.

  65. 65
    Valdivia says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    see this is what I think but I keep reading all the punditry telling me he will get to reintroduce himself as if the primary never existed.

  66. 66
    Tom Q says:

    @Valdivia: This whole “run to the right in the primaries, to the center in the general” comes from a quote from Nixon that dates back half a century — when there was precious little documentation of anything. It hardly seems applicable in an era where a stray remark on YouTube torpedoed George Allen’s Senate career.

    The problem is, our political discourse is mostly dominated by media sorts who formed their impressions 40-50 years ago and think all the same rules still apply. Someone might ask them, who’s the last example you can come up with, a candidate who radically shifted positions once the primaries were over? You might find slight tweaks here and there, but Obama, certainly, was mostly the same candidate after June ’08 as he was before. Why should the rules for Romney be different?

  67. 67
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:


    It’s nonsense, he’ll get some amount of re-introduction, but he’ll have a reasonably hard time reversing his negative personal numbers and a harder time dissociating himself from the Taliban wing of his party.

  68. 68

    @Valdivia: Fair enough, he is weak in the brainwash talent area (it takes an ability to connect, which Rmoneybot 2.7 lacks).

  69. 69
    Peter says:

    @Steve: If the civil rights issue could be decoupled from the million and one other life-or-death issues ties up in winning the Presidency, I would be right there with you. Unfortunately, it can’t, and the stakes are too high to gamble that the numbers have shifted since 2004 without seeing evidence of it.

    Creating your platform purely on ideology and with no eye towards electability is a luxury afforded to those nations which do not have a two-party system comprised of the crazy party and the sane party. If you stick marriage equality into the platform and it costs you key states and the Republicans get into the white house as a result, it’s game over for everyone.

  70. 70
    Anoniminous says:


    People say a lot of dumb things.

  71. 71
    Anoniminous says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    But he is in a squeeze. The calculation is:

    1. It’s the base that gets you into position to win

    2. It’s the Middle that gives you the win

    The Taliban Wing of the GOP don’t like him, don’t trust him, and aren’t voting for him in the primary. If they don’t pony-up to the voting booth he’s got no chance. The Middle is deserting the GOP and if he can’t convinced enough of them he’s got no chance. If he swings to the base he loses the Middle. Swings to the Middle and he’ll lose the base.

    I concede the above is kind of academic if Obama and the Democratic “down ticket” do carry women by 17%.

  72. 72
    Interrobang says:

    @Gex: Yeah, I’ve never heard someone defend abortion rights by invoking castle laws, but someone really ought to start. I’d love to see the collective Republican “just bit into a lemon” face.

  73. 73
    Jay C says:


    Heh. You really think the hardline anti-abortion core of the GOP gives a flying about ANY legal interpretation of the issue, or ANY concern about ANY “rights” except those of their fetishized fetuses?

    The entire weight of the obsessionist anti-abortion lobby’s arguments has been to turn the issue from one of legalities and rights to one of “morality”, and the only formulation they will recognize is the simpleminded “Abortion = Murder” trope – buttressed by religious doctrine as unimpeachable validation, usually.

    Arguments about individual rights, privacy, medical necessity, economic necessities, unwarranted personal intrusiveness, etc., can be made ad infinitum (and have been) and they aren’t going to mean squat to someone whose all-purpose rejoinder (endorsed and encouraged by a non-trivial segment of the political world) is “because God says so“. And is taken and applied as a bedrock principle of political philosophy.

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