Doug Thompson


Virginia women don’t care much for tea party extremes

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111013femalevotersA close look at last Tuesday’s defining governor’s election in Virginia leaves both the ultra right-wing tea party and soon to be ex-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli with a clear message — don’t piss off women in the Old Dominion.

Women in general — and particularly single women — told Cuccinelli and the tea party to go away and stay away.  Women overall turned out for Democrat Terry McAulife by almost 10 percent over Cuccinelli and unmarried women gave the McAuliffe a 42 percent margin of support.

Central among issues of importance to women voters:  Abortion, birth control and related concerns.

In typical, ironic and hypocritical fashion, Republican right-wingers who have long made such “social issues” key to what they feel are their constituency and support now say Democrats are concentrating too much on abortion.

Typical.  When you win, you claim success on fringe issues.  When you lose, who say they aren’t important.

McAuliffe focuses much of his campaign on what he called Cuccinelli’s “war on women” and exit polls say the message hit home.

“It was the most pronounced I have ever seen it,” Dawn Laguens, executive director of Planned Parenthood Association, said last week in a panel discussion on the role of women’s issues in the Virginia election.

Longtime GOP political consultant Charlie Black admits Cuccinelli was vulnerable on issues important to women because “not very many Repubican candidates share” the GOP attorney general’s extreme views.

“Ken earlier in his career had some things to say about abortion and some other issues that were pretty severe,” Black told Politico after the Virginia election.

“Some things” expressed by Cuccinelli include comments like: “Really, given that God does judge nations, it’s amazing that abortion has run as far and foully as it has.”

Cuccinelli, and the tea party that backed him with such fervor, claim most Americans oppose abortion, yet poll after poll says just the opposite.

A poll by Quinnipiac University earlier this year found 55 percent of Americans think abortion should be legal in pregnancies up to 20 weeks.  CNN’s polling put the support at 52 percent.  So did Gallup.

Conservatives claim the closeness of the Virginia races proves that social issues is issue that can swing both ways but it was not abortion and women-related issues that close the gap over the weekend before the election.  Exit polls clearly show that deciding to include Obamacare, with its many problems, into the mix was a risky strategy for McAuliffe that almost backfired.

Even with Obamacare in the mix, Virginians sent a clear message to the tea party and their favorite sons most of all in Democrat Ralph Northam‘s convincing win over right-wing ideologue E.W. Jackson.  Jackson spouted tea party mantra with biblical zeal and voters rejected him outright by more than 10 percent.

“It wasn’t even close,” said GOP strategist Mark Goodwin.  “It never was.”

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3 Responses to Virginia women don’t care much for tea party extremes

  1. Charles Everett November 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    The problem Cuccinelli has with women isn’t related to abortion. The outgoing attorney general wanted to make it more difficult to get a divorce in Virginia. Not a bright thing to say to anyone going through a troublesome marriage. Cuccinelli also fought hard for a sodomy law that the courts found was unconstitutional.

    As for Jackson, his Biblical zeal was so fanatical he made Pat Robertson sound moderate.

    • Doug Thompson November 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Cuccinelli’s hardcore position on abortions was also a problem for women in Virginia as it was to most anyone with an enlightened view on the subject. Exit polls showed it was one of the main issues with women. He is, in the opinion of many, a political troglodyte.

  2. Danny Adams November 10, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    The latest conservative excuse I’ve heard touted for McAuliffe’s win is that he got heavy support from “single women who want the government to be their sugar daddy”. And as long as Republicans keep sour-graping with that “people who want free stuff” line every time a Democrat wins, they’re going to keep losing elections.