In Campaign Season, a Focus on Women’s Issues
In a campaign season punctuated by increasingly harsh party-versus-party rhetoric, one topic has been particularly heated: legislation that predominantly affects women. Democrats are accusing Republicans of staging a “war on women” at the congressional and state level.
KUT’s Emily Donahue spoke with Evan Smith – editor in chief of our political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune – about what Democrats mean by the so-called war on women, whether the GOP is at risk of alienating a key demographic and whether that could be allayed by a female vice presidential candidate pick.
This is a year in which we’ve seen attacks on Planned Parenthood, on family planning generally, and a revisiting of what we assumed was settled law on abortion. We’ve seen a discussion on contraception. These were not issues we expected with the economy in the state that it’s in, with the world as in turmoil in so many places. We figured the focus of a presidential campaign would be on those big issues, but somehow we’re talking about women’s issues – issues that affect women, but really affect all of us.
There is no question that women are a swing vote. There’s no question there’s a political risk here. This is going to be a close election. Every group matters and women matter maybe most of all because women tend to vote in great numbers, and the portfolio of issues we’re talking about could very well tip the balance in terms of who is the next president of the United States.
Just putting a woman on the ticket, who happens to agree with the same things that Governor Romney agrees with that are problematic for women voters generally, that’s not going to solve the problem.