The message that the Republicans were waging a “war on women” was an effective one during the last presidential election. Triggered by Rush Limbaugh’s disgusting comments about Sandra Fluke and followed by a cascade of word vomit the spewed from various GOP politicians, it was a phrase that the Democrats put to powerful use. But now there’s evidence that it’s a message that doesn’t resonate with voters, so the Dems are moving on.
“Women find it divisive, political—they don’t like it,” pollster Celinda Lake tells the National Journal. It’s also been kinda co-opted by the Republicans, often to use it against Democratic politicians and their policies.
So as with any PR campaign, it’s time for a new strategy. And this new plan involves facts!
The National Journal continues:
“We are on much stronger ground when we talk about the specifics than when we talk about the category,” said Democratic pollster Mark Mellman. “And so when we talk about Republicans who want to make abortion illegal, Republicans who want to ban equal pay for equal work … the specific policy issues matter. That’s where the power is.”
The question is how long we’re going to see this plan in action. Most of the time, we hear details such as this from politicians, but the conversation devolves into buzzwords. “The war on women.” “The one percent.” “Jobs.” “Iraq.” “Amnesty.” “Obamacare.”
The New York Times reported just last week that spending on political advertising is likely to break $2 billion for these midterm elections with the number of ads up 70 percent since 2010. A 30-second ad spot only allows for so much in-depth analysis. Debates, which often feature angry back-and-forth and repeated talking points, are usually boiled down to sound bites. And media coverage oftentimes extracts bits and pieces of a discussion. On top of that, you have organizations funding this advertising blitz (thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case) who have a strategy of their own, in which, the paper says, there’s already a “harshly negative tone” to the ads and a “nearly nonstop campaign season” that will have many voters tuning out.
So we may not hear quite as much about the “war on women” per se, but that certainly doesn’t guarantee that we’re going to get a more full examination of the issues either. “Hobby Lobby.” “Equal pay.” “Reproductive rights.” Those may be some of the words and phrases that become commonplace when we talk about “women’s issues” in the coming months.
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