It may well have come down to the women’s vote and the abortion-centric campaign run by the Obamaites, if Fox’s reading of exit polls is correct. Democrats were serious about targeting single women, single mothers, professional women, and Hispanic and blue-collar women, all of whom can, apparently, be persuaded that their abortion rights are endangered, and that this issue trumps the economy and employment.
Abortion scare politics have been effective in the past, but have become even more so as our national demographics have changed. For the first time, the U.S. now has as many single adult women as married. That is significant, when GOP candidates depend on the votes of married women. And in younger cohorts, as we know, 40 percent of babies have been born to single mothers for the past many years. Easy access to abortion, and the promise of a comprehensive, generous welfare state are genuinely important, and symbolically even more so, to these groups.
The Akin-and-Mourdock stupidity — which sank both of those candidates despite very weak opponents — just added fuel to this pyre.
So, whatever happens next, it is crucial that the GOP start taking the issue of family disintegration seriously. There are many reasons to do so — not least among them that conservative politics don’t resonate with women who don’t expect to be able to build security without the welfare state’s help.