Christie’s Win, Cuccinelli’s Loss: Two Playbooks For Defending Against The ‘War On Women’

A year after President Obama rode to re-election accusing Republicans of a war on women, the governor’s races in New Jersey and Virginia offered the GOP two options for how to strike back.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie easily defeated a female state senator by staying away from hot-button social issues such as abortion, contraception and gay marriage, and by earning strong support among women for his leadership after Superstorm Sandy.

Further south, however, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II struggled with female voters as he fought to overcome a socially conservative record that Vice President Joseph R. Biden, campaigning for Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, summed up as “from another era.” One ad running this past week in the Northern Virginia market accused Mr. Cuccinelli of wanting to outlaw contraception, one of a series of attack ads that helped Mr. McAuliffe edge out Mr. Cuccinelli at the ballot box.

“One of the key planks in the Democrats’ ‘win at all costs’ playbook is the ‘war on women’ maneuver,” said Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist. “While both Cuccinelli and Christie are pro-life, only Cuccinelli fell headlong into this hyper-emotional trap. Christie’s strong favorability with female voters is a testament to his understanding the importance of tone, rhetoric, outreach and personal favorability when conveying one’s views. Cuccinelli, on the other hand, is a textbook example of how not to handle the [Democrats’] propaganda slime.”

Read more from Seth McLaughlin at The Washington Times

Do you like this post?
Analysis & Political Strategy