Republicans are quite good at alienating potential voters
Perhaps the Republican nominee’s latest scandal will finally motivate the party to do some real soul-searching about its difficulties with women’s votes. The post-mortems after Mitt Romney’s 2012 defeat were nearly unanimous, with every GOP strategist offering some variation of “We knew Obama would carry the black vote, but we expected to do better with women and Latinos.” Most concluded they will have to do much better with minorities and women if they ever hope to reach 270 electoral votes again.
Fast-forward, four years: Republicans have been busy opposing equal pay for women, fighting to defund Planned Parenthood and trying to keep women with Christian employers from getting legal birth control through their health care plans. Then for the coup de grace, the party faithful nominate a businessman/TV star with a long and well-documented history of treating most women as if they were either pretty playthings or pigs. And leaders complete the ticket with an anti-abortion extremist who infuriated the women of Indiana when he signed a law requiring funerary services for all aborted or miscarried fetuses.
All of these add up to a most unusual strategy for a party desperate to attract more women voters. Republican leaders certainly could have devoted less energy to issues that are guaranteed to alienate women, and more energy to the planks of their platform that are beneficial to women. However, this begs the question: Do they have any?
Furthermore, the nominee’s insults to Mexicans, his attacks on Muslims and his pathetic “outreach” to black voters may have poisoned Republican hopes of attracting minority voters for generations. Consider, 2012 wasn’t that long ago. How soon these elephants forget. Until they come to their senses, we will be stuck with what we have now: a White House beyond the reach of Republicans, a House majority gerrymandered beyond the reach of Democrats and a government that can’t get anything done.