Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Misreading The War On Women

Last week, I pointed out that the fringe gets a really distorted view of reality from their leaders. To give you a sense of how distorted, let's take apart an article published at the Daily Caller about the “War on Women.”

According to the article, Pelosi and Reid are planning to use the “War on Women” playbook for the 2014 election. The author, however, dismisses this as “overplayed propaganda” and she asserts that it won’t work because the Democrats are “missing the big picture.” Hence, she boldly declares, “As a Republican woman, I say bring it on.”

Oh boy.

While it will certainly play well with the fringe, the assertion that the “War on Women” attack is “overplayed propaganda” is ridiculous. In 2012, the Democrats won a stunning statistical victory among women. They won single women by 40%. That's not 40-39, that’s a 40 percentage point difference. In other words, seven of every ten of these women voted for the Democrats. That means their “War on Women” strategy was amazingly effective, and dismissing it as “overplayed propaganda” is wishful thinking. Instead, we need to find a way to defuse it.

The author argues that this has already happened, but her argument is seriously flawed. According to her, women will now reject the “War on Women” meme because of Obamacare. See, a recent poll showed that 60% of women oppose the disastrous law. Ergo, argues the author, they will shun the propaganda of the “War on Women” playbook and will turn out to help us thump them Democrats good.

Yikes. There is so much wrong with this assertion.

First, there is no indication in that poll or any other poll that opposition to Obamacare translates into voting out the Democrats. And what the author ignores is that outside of a tiny minority, people make up their minds how to vote based on general affinity with a political party rather than the basis of single issues. So opposition to Obamacare is just one fact to weigh against things like the “War on Women,” it is not a trump that will overpower all other issues. In fact, if it were such a trump, then we would see it in the generic polls, but we don't. To the contrary, the Democrats lead the Republicans 41% to 37% in the generic polls. This would not be true if her assertion were valid.

But wait, she adds, a study by some group found that supporting Obamacare cost incumbent Democrats 5.8% at the polls in 2010. Add that to the fact that sitting Presidents lose seats in midterm elections and “[the] Republicans are once again on solid ground.”


Ok, let’s unwind this. First, this would again show up in the generic polls, but it doesn't. Secondly, this effect was not repeated in 2012, and there's no reason to believe that this issue would vanish in 2012 only to return in 2014. Public anger doesn't work that way. It sparks, then it dies. It doesn't come and go. More importantly, she misunderstands the dynamic of the last couple elections. Obama had MASSIVE coattails in 2008 when he won and his party way over-performed what one would expect from a normal election. The result was that the Democrats won many seats they would not normally have won. Thus, 2010 represented a normalization in many ways as the Republicans won those seats back. By comparison, in 2012, Obama had no coattails and did not over-perform. If anything, he underperformed for a winner. That suggests there aren’t any overextended Democratic seats to be lost in 2014.

And keep in mind that even in 2010 (and in 2012), the Republicans failed miserably in Senate races, i.e. races that didn't involve gerrymandered constituencies.

Further, the 2010 victory was spurred by low Democratic turnout and exceedingly high Republican turn out. Turn out should in theory favor the Republicans in 2014, except that these days the fringe pride themselves on not voting. And if they didn't turn out in 2012 when the election of Republicans could have stopped the law ever being implemented, there's no reason to think they'll turn out in 2014 when there's no chance of influencing the law and after years of smears by the fringe against the Republicans.

Finally, the author tries to bolster her argument by claiming that Democratic lies about Obamacare also will bring out these women: “If the implications of the healthcare law weren’t enough to turn away women voters, the lies Democrats have told them should.” Yeah, right. Except, this is all already calculated into the opposition to Obamacare, and all these lies were well known in 2012 and didn't swing women to the GOP.

All right. So what's the point? The point is that these are the kinds of articles that flood The Daily Caller and Breitbart and other fringe sites. Articles like this provide false confidence and keep the right from asking the basic questions they should be asking: why did women abandon us in record numbers, what about the “War on Women” proved so effective, and how do we win women back? The first step to solving a problem is to admit you have a problem. This article and the hundreds of others like it and the parrot effect of talk radio keep the far right from realizing that.


Kit said...


Your last paragraph nailed it.

El Gordo said...

Yes. Perceptions do not change just because a little time has passed. I hope candidates realize that, even if the base doesn´t.

And "overplayed" means nothing ... people either buy it or they don´t. You´d think people who are still going on about Lewinsky would realize that.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Kit. I thought so. And that's the problem. These articles just reinforce the idea that nothing is wrong and the only reason we don't win is those defeatist RINOs. That's a great way to become perpetual losers.

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, Exactly. Perceptions change because of words and deeds, not just the passing of time. In fact, the passing of time tends to cement perceptions.


LOL! Yeah, nice point! Sadly, I don't think there's a lot of thought going on in those folks, just emoting and wondering why no one pays them any attention. And you're right, "overplayed" is a meaningless term. Either it's effective or it isn't.

Dave Olson said...

The "War on Women" is a false flag operation orchestrated by the highest echelons of the Democrat Party and foot-soldiered by their willing accomplices in the legacy media. This "War" has been going on for a long time, and the only confirmed kill belongs to Ted Kennedy.

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