Politico: By Emphasizing Pro-Choice Policies, Dems Racked Up Victories
While most Americans identify as somewhere in the middle on abortion, the callous anti-choice insensitivity displayed by many of this year's Republican candidates--like Sharron Angle saying women delivering their rapist's babies was like "making lemons out of lemonade"--helped dump them in the dustbin of electoral history.
The result is that even though we're facing an aggressively hostile anti-choice Congress, there's a silver lining for Democrats; when candidates pummeled their anti-chocie opponents for extreme opposition to abortion (even in the case of rape or incest) or painted them as "out of touch" or unfeeling, they won women voters handily--often by double-digits.
And that was enough to give these fighting-for-their-lives candidates a much-needed margin of victory. According to a large post-election feature in Politco, abortion was a winning issue for Democrats.
By branding Republican challengers as outside the cultural mainstream on the issue, Democrats managed to hold on to at least a slice of the political center by courting and winning over moderate women in a handful of key states.
As many of the anti-abortion Democrats elected over the last four years were going down in defeat, the party made abortion a central concern in a handful of battleground Senate races — and they ended up in the Democratic column as a result.
Races that were squeakers like Harry Reid vs. Sharron Angle and Michael Bennet vs. Ken Buck were specifically cited by Politico as being won on the strength of the Democratic candidate winning women handily, while the results with men were much closer. Meanwhile choice was used as a big issue by candidates like Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray.
Read more at Politico.