In 2010, Republicans made big gains in both the US Congress and state legislatures, sailing into office on promises that they'd be the ones to balance the budget largely because of a push from female voters defecting from the left wing. But now, after over a year of non-job creating ladyparts legislation, it seems that in 2012, women will run back into the arms of the Democratic Party. And that spells trouble for conservative candidates.
According to the Washington Post, while the President's approval rating has remained steady among men, among women, it's been slowly and surely rising since December. And that swelling of support extends to other elected officials as well. Now, more than half of women want to see Congress in Democratic hands, up from 46% at the end of last year. This is partially due to improving economic numbers, but some analysts believe the rise can be traced to both the birth control mandate combined with the GOP's seemingly limitless capacity to say totally fucked up things about women in the ensuing debate (and Limbaugh-esque "slut" comments coming from pundits on the right certainly didn't help) . Turns out, ladies don't much appreciate it when the national conversation turns to governing their private parts, and their private lives. And no one likes being called a strumpet.
But Democrats aren't going to stop there. I had the pleasure of speaking with DNC Chairwoman and overall enviable badass Debbie Wasserman Schultz today, and she said that the President's party plans to make women's issues central to its platform in 2012 and beyond. But we're not just talking things that are of and related to health care; although making sure women have access to affordable care is important, what Wasserman Schultz says is most important is refocusing the debate on jobs and the economy. The party's just launched the Democratic Women's Institute, a female-focused outreach initiative designed to get women involved in electing public officials that aren't out to get all up in your uterus and push you back in the direction of the kitchen (or the Dark Ages). There will be parties! And events! And, judging by the fact that when women vote in large numbers, they tend to vote for liberal candidates, Republicans might want to rethink their 2012 battle plan.