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Did the Dems Overplay the War on Women?
CHESTERTOWN, MD–Writing for the Washington Post’s political-science research blog “The Monkey Cage,” Washington College professor Melissa Deckman and a colleague at Towson University argue that many Democratic mid-term campaigns erroneously assumed that voters viewed abortion rights and insurance coverage for birth control through the same political lens. “Democracts fundamentally misunderstood why there is a gender trap in American politics,” she and her co-author, Towson University professor John McTague, wrote.
In truth, “Americans view abortion largely as an issue of personal morality,” they report, while government-mandated insurance coverage for birth control “taps into attitudes about economic opportunity and the proper size and scope of government.”
For the future, the two political scientists suggest, Democrats should stress that avoiding pregnancy is a powerful tool for reducing poverty and, therefore, tie access to birth control to broader issues of economic opportunity such as pay equity, a higher minimum wage, paid family leave “and other issues that tap into voters’s feelings about the role of government.”