Tuesday’s election didn’t amount to a rejection of the Republican party, but a rejection of social conservatism. This didn’t play out too strongly in the presidential election, but in state-wide ballot measures and Senate races, social conservatism was almost unilaterally rejected by the American public.
Starting with Senate races, losing Republican candidates Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana were absolutely decimated by their remarks about rape. Both were running in very winnable Senate races in states that were noncompetitively in Romney’s column. Mourdock was defending the seat of the incredibly popular moderate Republican Dick Lugar, who served for six terms.
Both candidates were ahead in their respective races until they made their respective comments about rape. Akin said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Meanwhile, Mourdock said, “I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Immediately, the polls flipped. The margins Akin and Mourdock shared went to their opponents, and they subsequently lost their races. While being pro-life isn’t a particularly extreme policy position, having a fundamental misunderstanding of female anatomy and saying that rape is the will of God will land you in the nut job category. Voters are okay with pro-life candidates, but they will reject anyone trying to control their bodies. Continue reading