From a Politico.com piece posted today, written by David Nather and Charles Mahtesian:
was supposed to be an election in which the economy dominated the
debate, social issues took a backseat and the culture wars were put on
Yet in the homestretch of the 2012 campaign, abortion politics is coloring races up and down the ticket. And it’s by design.
have gone all in for abortion rights, with none of the hedging or
defensiveness they’ve shown in recent years a subtle but striking
repositioning with political consequences that extend far beyond Nov. 6.
evidence of it is impossible to miss. The airwaves are choked with
messaging about women’s reproductive health. Abortion rights advocates
had prime speaking roles at the Democratic convention. Contraception
advocate Sandra Fluke is a prominent campaign trail surrogate. Cecile
Richards, head of Planned Parenthood, recently introduced President
Barack Obama at a Virginia campaign rally.
While Democrats have
long supported a woman’s right to choose, this year’s full-throated
embrace of abortion rights from the president down to the most obscure
House candidate marks a historic departure that now places the party
as firmly and unyieldingly in support of abortion rights as the GOP is
The long-term implications of that shift worry
some Democrats who long shied away from being the party of “abortion
on demand,” in the phrase of their GOP opponents, to avoid alienating
voters who favor some restrictions or find it morally troubling. But
with the White House and Senate hanging in the balance, Obama and the
party have replaced that political caution with a new political calculus
that it’s the GOP that looks extreme and out of touch, particularly
to women voters who will help decide the election.
Read the entire piece.