The sudden obsession with rolling back women’s rights to the 18th century has meant a drop in the polls for Republicans and a surge in fundraising for women’s rights groups and candidates.
The Republican attack on women has gone full-on crazy. All the GOP presidential candidates oppose birth control, (something 98% of all women use at some point) and Repubs in Congress are opposing the Violence Against Women Act. Catholic priests even took some time off from crafting their child sex abuse lawsuit defense to perform exorcisms in front of women’s clinics.
But the GOP’s attempts to take women’s role in society back a hundred years is backfiring.
One recent analysis of the backlash found that before the birth control war, women polled divided as to which party should control Congress: 46% (D)-42% (R). But just last week, a Wall Street Journal/CBS poll found that that’s changed. Women now prefer Democrats by a 15% margin: 51% (D)-36% (R).
With a gender gap of 15%-20% in favor of Democrats, and women making up the majority of the electorate—casting about 8 million more votes nationwide than men in 2008—the math doesn’t look good for the GOP in November if they continue down this path.
It’s not just women who are appalled. Men and women alike are losing confidence in the GOP’s sanity nationwide. The latest major poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, shows
a notable improvement in the Democratic Party’s image among voters, with just under half seeing the party positively. The public’s overall view of the Republican Party was strikingly negative, 36 percent to 56 percent.
Women candidates and advocacy groups are raising big money to un-elect GOP lawmakers who are taking these backwards positions and to elect more women lawmakers.
The same thing is likely to be seen in local politics.
You’ve probably seen the latest rash of letters to the editor in Montana defending Rush Limbaugh for calling Sandra Fluke a slut because she takes birth control. In this week’s Flathead Beacon, conservative columnist Dave Skinner says ”Fluke deserved to be turned away” from the opportunity to testify in Congress because of her “entitlement mentality.” He whines that women who want basic health care coverage are seeking a handout. (As if women don’t pay for insurance just like men do.)
Locally and across the U.S., forays into the twilight zone are are likely to continue to be a disaster for Republicans. That’s at least one piece of good news for Democrats this fall.