As of 12:30 am, incumbent Senator Mark Warner seemed to be the apparent winner of the senate election.  No one really expected this election to be so close.   Prince William County, included cities, and Fairfax seemed to save the day for Warner.  Northern Virginia prevailed, once again.  Albemarle, Charlottesville and Nelson County also helped pull off a Warner win, as did some of the southside counties.  At last glimpse, Warner was ahead by about 18,000 votes.

The Republicans will take over the Senate. That fact changes the dynamics of the country a great deal, although it isn’t really apparent how it will change things.  The different factions in the Republican party may decide to battle each other rather than to continue sparring with the President.  Who knows.  They also probably will not have a super majority so bills wont just go sailing through.  then there is also the presidential veto.  I feel certain that President Obama will enjoy using that presidential option quite a bit.  I know I sure would.

This is the first time that the Republicans have controlled the Senate in 8 years.  Will we move forward or will we revisit all the social issues?  That’s what the Republicans seem to concentrate on most of the time these days.  Abortion, personhood, same sex marriage, Planned Parenthood funding, school prayer…the list goes on.

What do you predict?

 

63 thoughts on “Mark Warner squeaks by Ed Gillespie

  1. Cargosquid

    Based on Politico:
    D M. Warner (i) 49.1% 1,072,487
    R E. Gillespie 48.5% 1,060,337
    L R. Sarvis 2.5% 53,594

    about 12,100 votes with 99.9% reported.

    Now….if we can just get that Democrat employee Sarvis out of the race……..

    AND just think what we could have done if A) we had an attractive candidate that didn’t turn off voters and B) the RNC had actually tried to win this one. They gave it up as lost from day one.

  2. Cargosquid

    The graphics show a very interesting picture.

    This one is nice.
    http://www.politico.com/2014-election/results/map/house/virginia/#.VFnGSleBUYJ

    All that red. But take a look a the blue 3rd district of Bobby Scott, which includes Eastern Henrico.
    Now…take a look at the red 7th district for Brat, next door.

    Now…look at the county of Henrico’s voting for Senator.
    http://www.politico.com/2014-election/results/map/senate/virginia/#

    Scott’s district area is Charles County and East Henrico. It is blue. But some of his district is red.
    Brat’s is all red.

    Apparently Henrico didn’t turn out for Gillespie as expected.

  3. Jackson Bills

    I predict that DWS won’t be the DNC chair much longer.

  4. @Jackson Bills

    Maybe she and Michael Stone Steele can commiserate if that happens. He seems to have found a lot to keep him busy. I wonder what his appearances on MSNBC pay?

  5. @Cargosquid

    I guess that is what happens when the GOP carves its own pumpkin, so to speak. You are aware that PWC has at least 3 congressmen representing it? Connolly, Wolf and Wittman. There might even be a 4th one in there somewhere.

    We have 8 delegates and 7 Senators at last count on the state level.

    I think the gerrymandering is a crime. Maybe Connolly no longer represents PWC. Its confusing enough to figure out my own situation. My local representative hasn’t figured it out either. I got an email from him telling me to go vote for Comstock. She wasn’t running in my district. I share a congressman with Newport News and the Northern Neck. How much sense does THAT make?

  6. @Cargosquid

    Apparently you believe that the Democrats pay indies and libertarians to run in every race. Yawn. That old excuse gets …well…old.

  7. This Senate race hasn’t been officially declared yet.

  8. Jackson Bills

    @Moon-howler
    Are you referring to Michael Steele?

    Good question about the pay, can’t be much with the ratings MSNBC is getting these days.

  9. Cargosquid

    @Moon-howler
    No….just in Sarvis’ race. His race was financed by the Democrat party. It was in the public records. He even admitted it.

    The Senate race hasn’t been declared…. but Gillespie is tilting at windmills. He is not going to find 12,101 votes to beat Warner’s lead in a recount.

  10. Ed Myers

    A red congress is going to be a boast to Hilary’s campaign.

  11. Furby McPhee

    The key thing for Democrats after this election is not to draw the wrong conclusions. Remember, like Obama says, this election was all about the map of races. That the GOP won in Illinois, Maryland & Massachusetts is irrelevant. These were all one time flukes for the GOP, like 2010, that will be set right in 2016.

    The narrative that in 2016 the GOP will be defending vulnerable Senate seats from 2010 is absolutely true. In this cycle, the GOP was forced to defend highly vulnerable GOP governors elected in 2010 in states like Florida, Maine, Wisconsin, and Michigan and barely defended them all. And the GOP was unable to defend the governorship in PA. As a result the GOP barely gained three governorships four years after their last ‘wave’ election. This clearly shows the vulnerability of the Senators elected in 2010. If this trend continues, the GOP will barely gain any Senate seats in 2016.

    Also, Obama is right not to moderate his positions as a result of this election, as Politico is reporting. Clearly the public is frustrated with the lack of progress on income inequality and immigration reform. Why else would they have failed to back Democratic candidates? Obama should continue to push on these issues, with unilateral action if necessary. It would be a mistake to follow the example of Bill Clinton in 1994 or even George W. Bush in 2006 and take a more conciliatory approach. While exit polls showed 64% of people who voted yesterday said Obama needed to change his policies, this is just another case of the public not understanding Obama’s policies. Better messaging is needed not policy changes.

    The War on Women continues to be a key theme in motivating voters, both male and female. Wendy Davis almost came within 20 points of winning in Texas and Mark Udall’s almost maniacal focus on reproductive issues was crucial in his coming within 10 points of keeping his seat in Colorado. When the voting patterns from these races emerge, they will show that both Davis and Udall both won a significant minority of women voters. The issue continues to work well down ticket as well where Sandra Fluke nearly came within 20 points of beating a fellow Democrat based on her status as a War on Women vet. With Hillary as the likely Democratic nominee in 2016, the War on Women rhetoric will be more crucial than ever. Wherever possible, questions about Hillary Clinton should be rebutted as attacks in the War on Women.

    There were certainly a few disappointments, this election also gives Democrats many opportunities. Since the election of 2008, there are nearly 1000 fewer elected Democrats in state legislatures. This will allow the Democratic party to identify future candidates more easily as they can be seen easier in this smaller pool. Plus, with the GOP burdened with having a majority of state legislatures, a majority of governorships and majorities in the House & Senate, GOP candidates in the future will have to spend too much of their time on governing, while future Democrats will be free from having to defend major legislative accomplishments for several years to come.

    So while some may look at this election cycle as a setback, I choose to see this election as confirmation of President Obama’s policies over the last two years. As President Obama said, his policies were on the ballot yesterday. So lets get busy enacting that amnesty the public is demanding!

    1. Note that the war on women resonates the strongest with the younger demographic. The younger demographic doesn’t always vote in mid-term elections. Reproductive rights, minimum wage, etc will be far more important during a presidential election.

      I don’t believe that attacks on Hillary or Elizabeth Dole should be seen as a war on women unless they are criticized for things men aren’t criticized for. Then is when it gets iffy. I absolutely believe that was done to Hillary last time. I just think people can’t help themselves.

      I see this election as typical of mid-terms and also Democrats doing what they do best…back away from their own. I watch to bitch slap the woman who wouldn’t answer about whether she voted for Obama or not.

      I think history will be much kinder to Obama than his contemporaries have been. If I had to criticize Obama it would be for not surrounding himself with the nastiest junkyard dog operatives money can buy to offset the crap that Republicans dish out before the ink is even dry. Obama tries to be fair and decent. You can’t in this business. Bush had the right idea. He remained decent and had his dogs do his dirty work. Obama should have done that also.

    1. That was funny and pretty much defined t Good one.he morning.

  12. Jackson Bills

    The biggest surprise for me was the Peoples Republic of Maryland electing a Republican Governor even with both of the Obama’s and both of the Clintons campaigning for the Democrat.

    1. I find that label so offensive. Please don’t use it here. Maryland works.

  13. Jackson Bills

    @Cato the Elder
    Was that video of them coming home to roost yesterday?

  14. Starry flights

    I predict the McConnell Cruz fights to come will make for an entertaining two years

  15. Cargosquid

    @Furby McPhee
    Well done.

    However, I fully expect the GOP to completely and utterly waste this opportunity. Wait…not waste….. completely and utter blow it.

    They won the elections. Now they need to absolutely forget about it and think up reasons that should get people to vote FOR them instead of AGAINST Democrats.

  16. Starry flights

    And Ed Gillespie will be on most GOP short lists for Virginia governor in a few years.

  17. Jackson Bills

    @Cargosquid
    Unfortunately I agree 100% with you, they will figure out a way to blow it. Hopefully we will be proven wrong.

    1. Republicans in general don’t blow it. What happens is some nut job like Cruz gets out there and proposes something outrageous. A bunch of ultra somethings come out and try to push through ridiculous legislation. Normal Republicans go along with it to appease the nutwing end of the party and the rest is history.

      Then everyone gets a full head of steam over their success and they get knocked off their high horse. (either that or get their legislation ruled unconstitutional.)

      But you are right It does happen.

  18. Cargosquid

    @Starry flights
    Probably.

    Why not? We have that scam artist McAuliffe now. The bar has not only been lowered. It was dropped to the floor.

    1. Cargo, why do you feel it necessary to be demeaning? I voted for and like Terry McAuliffe. Unlike Democrats, I am not a fair weather friend doing the thrice the cock crows thing.

      No body asked you to come along through here and do pigeon droppings. Everyone else (well, almost everyone) is trying to have a general discussion about election results. Very few blogs really do that. We are one of the few where we can have these types of discussions.

  19. Furby McPhee

    @Cargosquid
    Agree completely. The GOP will screw this chance up, just like the last 2 or 3 times. It’s what they do.

    I see Gillespie going for VA Gov in 2017 if Bolling runs against Kaine for Senate in 2016. But Gillespie might try for Senate again in 2016. Considering how close Gillespie came to beating Warner, Kaine better be hoping for a huge Democratic turnout in 2016. I think everyone can agree that Warner is a much stronger candidate than Kaine.

    I think it’s one of those situations where everyone thought Warner was invulnerable that Gillespie ‘wins’ even though he lost the race and Warner ‘lost’ even though he was re-elected. (I don’t see him on the VP short list in 2016 now.)

  20. Jackson Bills

    Moon-howler :
    I find that label so offensive. Please don’t use it here. Maryland works.

    I use that in jest… trust me my entire family lives in MD, all hard core liberals/Democrats for generations, get a chuckle out of it because they know just how DEEP blue MD is. I’ve never run into anyone who finds it offensive until now. Ill be sure to not use the PRoMD label here again.

    Having said that, what do you think of the unthinkable? MD electing an R with so many of the liberal dream team campaigning for Brown?

    1. Thank you. I don’t know what I think of it. My husband and his people are all from Maryland (go Terps). My mother in law was a democrat and my father in law was a republican. My head just swiveled back and forth during dinners sometimes, when they were alive. Truthfully, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it this year. I heard the Republican commercials and remember his lovely daughter. She convinced me that her dad wasn’t a dirty bag who wanted women in burkas.

  21. @Jackson Bills
    Why yes I was. Not sure why I said Stone. I was looking right at the man on TV when I mistyped his name. Geez.

    Thank you for reading my mind. Yes, Michael Steele.

  22. Furby McPhee

    Moon-howler :
    Republicans in general don’t blow it. What happens is some nut job like Cruz gets out there and proposes something outrageous. A bunch of ultra somethings come out and try to push through ridiculous legislation. Normal Republicans go along with it to appease the nutwing end of the party and the rest is history.
    Then everyone gets a full head of steam over their success and they get knocked off their high horse. (either that or get their legislation ruled unconstitutional.)
    But you are right It does happen.

    That would fall into the definition of blowing it for most Republicans I know. What I want to see the GOP do is start actually eliminating unnecessary parts of government and reign in spending so we can balance the budget. They can’t do much while Obama is President, but at least make Obama defend wasteful programs and show what the GOP would do without him in the way. Add tort reform, revenue-neutral tax reform, and repealing the relaxed SSDI standards and you are off to a great start.

    1. SSDI??? Help me out here. Social Security????

  23. Jackson Bills

    @Furby McPhee
    The Keystone pipeline should be the first thing, along with other energy related issues…. something even Ed Shultz (and labor unions) enthusiastically supported until their own nut job fringe got in the way. This will at least now give Obama an excuse to pass it. He could say “hey, we have to work together and compromise…bla bla bla” and then sit back and reap the political rewards of even lower gas prices. Win win for everyone.

  24. Cato the Elder

    Jackson Bills :
    The biggest surprise for me was the Peoples Republic of Maryland electing a Republican Governor even with both of the Obama’s and both of the Clintons campaigning for the Democrat.

    I always get a good laugh when I see one of those Maryland license plates with the American flag on it. A hammer and sickle would be far more appropriate.

    1. That just sounds so effen stupid. Obviously they aren’t quite as socialist as you thought.

  25. Cato the Elder

    Jackson Bills :
    @Cato the Elder
    Was that video of them coming home to roost yesterday?

    Indeed. It looks like the Bolshevik Revolution is over, doesn’t it?

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RKOngTfTMs0

  26. Cargosquid

    @Furby McPhee
    Personally, I don’t want Gillespie running for ANY Virginia office. Let’s get some fresh blood into office with new ideas.

  27. Wolve

    Moon-howler :
    Cargo, why do you feel it necessary to be demeaning? I voted for and like Terry McAuliffe. Unlike Democrats, I am not a fair weather friend doing the thrice the cock crows thing.
    No body asked you to come along through here and do pigeon droppings. Everyone else (well, almost everyone) is trying to have a general discussion about election results. Very few blogs really do that. We are one of the few where we can have these types of discussions.

    Demeaning? This from someone who just called Ted Cruz a “nut job”? Tsk, tsk.

    1. Ted Cruz is a nut job and likes presenting himself as a nut job. He also isn’t governor of our own state. Don’t you think he is sort of a nut job?

      I will have to think on that though….

      I guess some of it comes from where he is…he knows we like McAuliffe. But…point taken. Just I see a difference.

  28. Wolve

    Udall in Colorado and Wendy in Texas appear to have demonstrated that the so-called “War on Women” is a failure at the political box office. The Repubs now have two new warriors named Joni and Mia. And let us not forget Barbara on the NoVA front.

    1. I actually wouldn’t count on your theory working. The issues we speak of resonate the strongest with younger women who unfortunately, don’t put as much stock in voting as older women do. Your theory will not test well in a presidential race.

      Just out of curiosity, would you be more comfortable if we discussed the issues under a different title? I really feel like you don’t understand why I feel that there is a war going on out there. How about if we remove abortion from the discussion and give what I am talking about another name. would you be willing?

      Maybe we cant totally remove abortion but it can go on the side burner.

      BTW, some of Comstock’s people were telling voters that she did support Roe v. Wade. Elena’s parents in law were told that. Comstock tried to distance herself from some of those stickier issues.

  29. Wolve

    Then, among the new ones, there is Shelley in West Virginia and Mimi in California and, of course, Elise in New York, who is only 30 and will be the youngest of all the Congress critters. War on Women indeed!!!!

    1. The fact that these young women are in Congress has zero to do with the war on women. I am glad to see them there. The fact that they are there is another step in the right direction as far as womens issues go, regardless.

  30. Wolve

    And last but not least let me present Republican Saira Blair, a new member of the West Virginia state legislature. She is only 18 and a frosh at West Virginia U. The youngest state legislator in the entire nation.

  31. Wolve

    Poor Mark Udall in Colorado. He ran almost his entire Senate re-election effort on the theme of a “War against Women” — to the point that the exasperated Denver Post editorial board called it an “obnoxious, one-issue campaign.” And now Mark Udall will be ever known as “Mark Uterus.”

    1. His opponent had an abysmal record on reproductive rights. Perhaps that was what motivated Udall. I didn’t study that election in detail. I have close friends who lives in the Denver area and that election was really about a cultural war. I wouldn’t assume anything there. Those who didn’t support Mark Udall probably called him a lot worse names than Mark Uterus.

  32. Wolve

    Moon-howler :
    The fact that these young women are in Congress has zero to do with the war on women. I am glad to see them there. The fact that they are there is another step in the right direction as far as womens issues go, regardless.

    Nothing to do with the so-called “War on Women”? Well, I would say that someone conducting a war on women is hardly likely to push strong women like Joni Ernst (LtCol, Iowa National Guard) forward into high positions of governance — or re-elect them, as in Nikki Haley. Ergo, this “War on Women” must be nothing but a myth.

    1. You really don’t get it, do you? Keep thinking it is a myth. The very fact that you believe that a metaphor is a myth proves my point and the point of countless women.

      However, I am glad that you notice that more women are running for office and winning. I don’t think that has much to do with the war on women but I am still glad you noticed.

      Just out of curiosity, do you think that agent orange causes heath problems to vets and others who were in Vietnam and Korea? It hasn’t been until very recently that the military has admitted that certain diseases could possibly be related to exposure to agent orange. Does that mean that until the military declared it to be a health hazard that it wasn’t? Was it a myth up to that point?

  33. middleman

    I find it remarkable that our tea party friends seem to be fine with the very definition of a K-street lobbyist of the worst kind representing them. I thought that embodied everything they were against. Principles, principles…

  34. Furby McPhee

    Democrats would be wise to drop the “War on Women” theme for one simple reason. It didn’t work in 2014. The GOP increased their share among women (ie the gender gap fell to 6 points and carried married women overall). Either the War on Women as a campaign theme didn’t motivate women enough to vote or persuade them to vote for Democrats. Either way, it just plain didn’t work. And that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a man. It has to do with the fact that I read polls and election results.

    It wasn’t men who are saying the War on Women doesn’t work. It’s women. When Wendy Davis lost women in Texas by more than 10 point, (In other words, underperformed the natioanl Democratic average by 16 points!) women aren’t buying what you are selling. Davis ran a comically bad campaign (even to the point of flip flopping on late term abortion, the very issue that brought her to national prominence) But if a female candidate with her background can’t at least break even among women voters, that should be sounding alarm bells that it’s the message as well as the messenger.

    My theories on why the War on Women didn’t work in 2014 are based on two things:

    1) It’s very hardcore rhetoric. When you say something is a “war” you aren’t beating around the bush. It worked in 2012 because you had some stupid gaffes on the part of some GOP candidates (like Todd Aiken) that made it sound like there was actual hostility towards women in the GOP. In other words, if you want to lob the “War on Women” charge, the GOP has to be doing things that seem hostile to non-partisan women. You didn’t have that in this election cycle. So Democrats looked a little bit like Chicken Little, especially Mark Udall.

    2) And this is heavily related to #1: The GOP anticipated that the Democrats would use “War on Women” again, and effectively countered it. During the primary season more extreme candidates were pushed out in some races and candidates by en large ignored birth control and abortion. You said yourself that Comstock was moderating her position on abortion. That makes it a lot harder to claim there is a “war” going on. That’s what did in Mark Udall. He beat the “war on women” drum so often he lost credibility. Gardner supports making birth control available over the counter without a prescription and opposed the personhood amendment in Colorado. That’s the record you are calling “abysmal”. You might think he’s lying, but it’s hard to justify the “war on women” charge to independents when those are Gardner’s positions. Because those positions just don’t sound very extreme to most Americans.

    I know I’ll get in trouble for this but Planned Parenthood didn’t help Udall either, with their bizarrely bad “sweat pea” ad where they claimed somehow that Gardner was going to ban condoms. It was so out of step with Gardner’s positions and the issues people cared about it made PP and Udall look clueless. By beating the war on women drum so much, Udall looked like the extremist not Gardner.

    Honestly, I’d be happy if the Dems kept using “war on women” for the next 20 years. It’s lost its punch and the GOP knows how to counter it now. But if the Democrats want to regain their tradition showing among women they need to come up with a new message that appeals to women. Abortion will certainly be a part of that because Democrats aren’t going to change on that anytime soon. But you are quite simply delusional if you thought the top issue concerning women in this election was birth control and abortion.

    Issues like wage gap, or women having to work multiple part time jobs to make ends meet would have resonated better with women. Middleman had some good talking points in his post. Almost any of those would have worked better than “War on Women” If women’s number one concern is the economy, talk to them about the economy.

    One final note: I still have to take you to task for never criticizing Foust’s attacks on Barbara Comstock for never having a “real job” That ticked off a lot of women in VA-10. But since it was a Democrat, it apparently doesn’t count as an attack in the “War on Women” for you. But for a lot of moderate independent women, that sounded more like Todd Aiken then anything you heard from the GOP this year.

    1. So much to respond to….so little time.

      Last to first…I never commented on the Comstock/Foust race at all until after it was over. Why should I pull out something stupid any candidate says, especially when its campaign rhetoric. I don’t live in that district and didn’t really care much about the outcome. It has nothing to do with Foust being a Democrat. It has everything to do with me not caring. Also, that “real job” remark isn’t what I would call a war on women issue. Hell, the same thing is said by Republicans about Obama…that he never had a real job. Shrug.

      War on anything is obviously metaphorical. We didn’t have a real war on drugs did we?

      If you don’t see the link between the economy and women controlling their own reproduction, I am afraid I can’t help you. You men really are trying to encapsulate the concept of war on women into a fairly simple idea. It isn’t. Its fairly complicated. Some day I will do a story that illustrates the complexity. Not today.

      As for it not working this past election–Here’s the deal. Politicians who try to use reproductive rights effectively need to test the waters first. Yes, there has been a great deal of state anti choice legislation across the nation. There hasn’t been any on the national front that has amounted to much. No one has been legally denied much of anything. This election was national, not state at least in Virginia. However, there has been no great initiative to restrict reproductive rights recently. To have the perfect dynamic, you really need to have something extreme in the pipeline. If there isn’t, step back and let the pro-choice groups do the heavy lifting.

      Furby, reproductive rights aren’t going to be as front burner to younger women because they have never experienced not having those rights. To someone like me, who knows what it is like, it will always be a front burner issue. Additionally, reproduction, contraception, etc aren’t daily issues that confront all women all the time. Contrast this issue to being gay. You are always gay. It is part of your persona. No so with reproductive rights. You aren’t always reproducing. The entire concept is cyclical.

      One bit of clarity–Wendy Davis will be back. She wasn’t arguing for late term abortion as a good thing. She was arguing that the built in restrictions of Roe v. Wade needed to be left in tact. No one thinks late term abortion is a good thing, that I am aware of. However, many women, myself included, see the need for leaving a safety net in place for those wanted pregnancies that unfortunately must be terminated because of fetal anomaly. Many of those aren’t discovered until late 2nd, early third trimester. It involves a very limited number of women but it’s extremely important to those of us who happen to believe that abortion is an appropriate and very morally correct choice when severe fetal anomaly exists.

      Perhaps this election dealt more with same-sex marriage and legalizing pot. Or perhaps those were the issues to backpedal away from, as fast as one can go.

  35. Furby McPhee

    (Whoops, I moved this post from the other election thread. So when I talk about middleman’s post, I meant the one in the other election thread where he lists a bunch of issues that Democrats should have been talking about instead of “War on Women”)

  36. Cargosquid

    @middleman
    Which candidate are you talking about?

  37. Censored bybvbl

    @Furby McPhee

    Honestly, I’d be happy if the Dems kept using “war on women” for the next 20 years. It’s lost its punch and the GOP knows how to counter it now.

    They’ve countered it by having to move to the middle or to a more moderate position – at least until they take their oaths. It’s a small win for the Dems or women by making the Repubs budge.

  38. middleman

    Cargosquid :
    @middleman
    Which candidate are you talking about?

    Gillespie

  39. Cargosquid

    @middleman
    You seem to have a different definition of “seem to be fine.”

    You did notice that Gillespie is not Senator-Elect Gillespie, right? One reason is that the Tea Party, at BEST, held their nose and voted for him because he was the only one on the ballot.

    Take a look at Sarvis’ numbers. Some of the Tea Party that didn’t stay home, went to him. He got 57K + votes. He even won a county.

    So, no….we were not “fine” with Gillespie.

    1. Gillespie came mighty close, I am sorry to say.

      On the other hand, if the tea party hadn’t once again been obstructionists, they wouldn’t be dealing with Warner. Just soething to think about.

  40. Cargosquid

    @Moon-howler
    I agree. The Tea Party members that did not vote for him ARE partially to blame for his loss. As are those that voted for Sarvis hoping irrationally that he would win while doing nothing to help the only party that at least attempts to lessen the reach and size of government.
    It is also the fault of the GOP for a) giving us a rotten candidate B) not supporting him once he was foisted upon us.

    That isn’t “obstructionism.” That is standing on principle because you really don’t see a difference between the two candidates. Perhaps we need a run off election system like Louisiana.

  41. middleman

    The best man won. Warner did a good job as governor and has done his best to work with both sides in the Senate. He’s clearly a Democrat, but he’s no partisan hack. We need more like him, IMHO.

  42. Furby McPhee

    @Moon-howler
    It wasn’t the GOP that came up with the War on Women theme and decided to make it 100% about (to use Planned Parenthood’s term) “lady parts” this election. If you think that was over simplifying women’s issues, a) you’re right, b) you are agreeing with what I said, and c) talk to the Democrats because they are the ones that did it. Ironically, they make it easy for the GOP to counter with an argument that women care about more than their “lady parts” and portray the Democrats as patronizing women. (I know you don’t see it that way, but that the GOP could even attempt that argument should show you how bad the War on Women theme played this election cycle.)

    You still seem to have a hangup over the fact that men are saying the War on Women didn’t work. Before Tuesday you might have had a point. But the results are in: It didn’t work. But don’t take my word for it. Go look at the exit poll results for yourself. Find a race where the War on Women theme helped. Really. Name one race. It didn’t convince independent women to switch and it sure didn’t get Democrats out to the polls. If that isn’t the definition of a failed political strategy, I don’t know what is.

    As for Wendy Davis, in politics you can rarely say someone could never come back, but its very unlikely that Wendy Davis has any future in electoral politics. She’ll become a commentator or work for PP/NARAL or Emly’s List but her electoral chances are nil. Why would Texas Democrats ever run her again? She’s proven she does worse among women voters than an average Democratic candidate. She even lost her state Senate seat on Tuesday. (So she is actually out of office soon.) You might like her, you might think she didn’t get a fair break, but at the end of the day only something like 14% of registered voters in Texas supported her enough to show up and vote for her. That’s not much of a base.

    But again, I hope I’m wrong. Run Wendy Davis for a Senate seat in Texas. Heck, run Wendy Davis as Hillary’s VP. Have her barnstorm around the country supporting Democratic candidates. Wendy Davis came to national attention defending late term abortion. That’s her signature issue. If Democrats really think late term abortion is a winning issue with the electorate, go for it. Please.

    But I will freely concede that if Wendy Davis is ever elected to a statewide office in Texas, she truly deserves the title of Comeback Queen.

    1. I think a lot of people who don’t have real inside depth of abortion issues walked away with the notion she was defending late abortions just because. That wasn’t the case. However, if her message didn’t resonate with voters then something was wrong. To be truthful, I didn’t pay any attention at all to her campaign. If she was going to talk about that issue, and I believe talking about it was appropriate in Texas because the state legislature was attempting to do some social engineering on Roe v. Wade, then she should have found a way to make people understand that the real reason pro-choice activists feel strongly about this issue not for people too lazy to go get an abortion at 10 weeks. The real crisis becomes apparent when a woman finds out there is a fetal anomaly. Often this isn’t done by the 20 or so weeks that the various states are trying to push through. That leaves a grieving woman little choice but to go overseas or out of state for the procedure. Those kinds of abortions are already extremely expensive.

      Now, I understand that there are people who would not have an abortion even if they were carrying a severely handicapped child. However, there are many people who feel the opposite. Additionally, carrying for a severely handicapped child is prohibitive in cost.

      If that isn’t the message, then anyone who attempts to use “late term abortion” as a selling point really needs to work on their marketing skills.

      Let me go a step further and say that many women who wouldn’t get an abortion under ordinary circumstances would get one if they were carrying a fetus with an anomaly that was debilitating or severely impacted quality of life. It’s really important to me to not put these grieving women at further risk.

      This issue takes too much explaining to use against your opponent but I do think its important to mention it with pro choice supporters.

      She should be run again because she is bright, articulate, and strongly believes in her positions. I don’t like or dislike her. I respect her.

    2. Furby, one more thing–its difficult to know how hard to push on these issues. Warner is clearly pro choice. I didn’t pay close attention to his campaign but I don’t recall hearing him push it. On the other hand, I wouldn’t vote for anyone at that level who wasn’t pro-choice. I have been burned before thinking it wasn’t important at the local level. It really just boils down to who you think should be making critical decisions for yourself–you or the government. All the other things are just bull crap: TRAP laws, waiting periods, personhood, zoning issues like in the City….just all pure bull crap to satisfy an anti abortion agenda.

      About 20 years ago NARAL asked the ultimate question: Who decides, you or them?

      I think many people would just like to not have to deal with this issue every election. I am one of those people.

  43. Furby McPhee

    Moon-howler :
    Furby, one more thing–its difficult to know how hard to push on these issues. Warner is clearly pro choice. I didn’t pay close attention to his campaign but I don’t recall hearing him push it.

    That’s the point! A good politician does know how hard to push on what issues and when. Warner is a good politician and didn’t run a War on Women themed campaign. He ran a “both parties need to work together” campaign. And he won. (A lot closer than anyone was expecting, but he still won.) It doesn’t mean Warner has changed his position on abortion. Just that he knew his electorate well enough to know as LBJ used to say “that dog won’t hunt” (at least in this election) when it came to the “War on Women”

    Wendy Davis may be bright, articulate and have strongly held positions. But that doesn’t necessarily make her a good politician. What makes you a good politician is getting people to vote for you. By that standard, she did poorly. If she had run a better campaign, and lost by a closer margin, she might still have a shot in the future. Instead, fewer women and Hispanics voted for her than the previous Democratic candidate for governor. If Wendy Davis is ever going to hold a major public office, she has to figure out how to redefine herself so that she is not synonymous with a) abortion and b) crushing electoral defeat. That’s not easy to do.

    1. I won’t write her off. I just didn’t follow her campaign. I would be shooting off my mouth not knowing what I was talking about other than I know the issue pretty well. I also don’t know Texas politics. I just can’t see running a single issue campaign. If that’s what she did, she didn’t deserve to win.

      The War on Women is not just about reproductive rights.

      I was asleep at the switch on her campaign. I forgot she was running until the other night when I saw her on Jon Stewart. Frankly, she seemed tired, exhausted and I didn’t get that old moth to the candle feeling I get with some candidates when I see that we think of one mind. I thought it was me. Maybe not.

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