The Contraceptive Strategy

by Jeff Swanson

As an election strategy, leading with contraception is an interesting one. If you watched the key DNC speaker, Sandra Fluke, you’d have thought that free contraception was a key Democratic strategy.

To be clear, I get that the argument made is about woman’s rights. In and of itself, a discussion very worth having. Why with contraception though? Free love freebies against Mitt Romney?

Therein lies the point; where do the dots connect? In a country that is dying a slow economic death, Ms. Fluke suggests that free contraceptives are an answer to something.

Mind you, this is a conversation about election strategy. Not the value of healthcare.

If you were to look at the Obama key campaign points, woman’s healthcare doesn’t register. Yet Ms. Fluke was chosen as a known marquee personality. She was happy to tell the people of HuffPo, that “This election decides whether years of struggle for basic health care rights that so many women fought for will be rolled back. I’ll be standing with the President…”.

If the President does not want to talk about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), why this?

Pandering to be sure. It’s clear that the Obama/Axelrod strategy of dividing America includes ginning up a red herring that Republicans are anti-something. In 2008, the Obama juggernaut had about 56% of the available woman vote. Today is a different story. With women, Obama seems to be hovering around 50% job approval from 70% in 2008. This is not a drop in numbers seen within other ethnic related groups.

When over half the population is one gender, and a gender that voted largely for Obama, a 20% loss on voters is a huge number. 70 million women turned out in 2008! If approval translates to voters, that’s 8 million votes lost for Obama.

Perhaps manufacturing a ‘Republican gender divide’ actually makes some sense.

Contraception though? Healthcare? And to hear Sandra Fluke state it that, “basic health care rights that so many women fought for”, you’d thought Gloria Steinem was a warrior for health and not for working equality. To be fair, Ms. Steinem had a serious struggle with cancer and likely does not take the subject lightly.

Why the strategy fails: The Contraceptive Strategy appears to assume that woman must be pretty dopey. Only those most sold on the liberal agenda don’t see that the strategy is pandering in the worst way. Obama does not need the base. Obama needs to sway the undecided. In the 90’s, these women were called soccer moms. The reality; these are working woman, not soccer moms. 8 million of them.

The precipitous drop in approval amongst woman is pretty clearly linked to employment and Obama does not have that argument in his pocket.

So lead with ‘the pill’, I guess.


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