By Meghan Daum
Los Angeles Times.
Have you heard? The Republican war on women is over! Well, the “Republican war on women” is over. The trope, if not the actual phenomenon, has joined the ranks of retired political euphemisms.
At least according to Republicans.
The GOP victories in the midterm elections have been attributed to any number of factors, Obama’s new status as Undecider-in-Chief high among them. But Republicans have been patting themselves on the back especially hard for finally making headway with the group that purportedly loathed them more than any other: that monolith known as women.
In Texas, working-class Democratic heroine Wendy Davis was slaughtered in her bid for governor against Republican Greg Abbott, getting just 45% of women’s votes to her opponent’s 54%. In Colorado, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, whose emphasis on abortion rights got him dubbed Mark Uterus, lost his seat to a Republican challenger framed as staunchly pro-life. Here in Southern California, birth control crusader Sandra Fluke, whose career took off after Rush Limbaugh did her the great favor of calling her a slut, ran for a state senate seat and was trounced by a fellow Democrat. Though women’s health wasn’t a major campaign issue, it’s telling that liberal local voters weren’t sufficiently moved by Fluke’s story to choose her over her more seasoned opponent.
Meanwhile, the GOP made women’s history. Mia Love, a Haitian American Mormon from Utah, will become the first black female Republican ever to serve in Congress. Elise Stefanik, 30, of New York’s 21st district, became the youngest woman of any party to be elected to Congress. Iowa elected its first female senator, combat veteran Jodi Ernst, who talked in television ads about growing up castrating pigs.
In the up-and-comer category, there was Saira Blair, an 18-year-old college freshman and self-described “pro-gun, pro-life, fiscal conservative” who ran a campaign out of her dorm room and won a seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates.