Social Issues

What's the Issue?

Dems are desperately trying to hold onto control of the Senate. And women's issues might be the X (chromosome) factor that they need to get it done. Meanwhile, Dems are hoping gay marriage is still a way to get the base to the polls, while Republicans are mostly mum on it.

What the Right Says...

Private companies should have a right to decide contraception insurance for themselves (exhibit A: the Hobby Lobby decision). P.S.: we're all for over-the-counter birth control pills now. And please, please, let's avoid another Todd Akin. As for gay marriage? We’re too busy worrying about the economy, please call again later.

What the Left Says...

A woman's health is between her and her doctor. If you vote GOP, say goodbye to equal pay and many reproductive choices. As far as gay marriage goes, let's roll out the Supreme Court’s red carpet to the altar. Many states have legalized it but we want the Supremes to stamp approval once and for all.

Which States Could Make the Difference?

North Carolina: Sen. Kay Hagan (D) is hitting her Republican opponent Thom Tillis (R) hard for limiting access to birth control and blocking Planned Parenthood funding.

Colorado: In the Senate race, Rep. Cory Gardner (R) recently decided he's OK with over-the-counter birth control, which might have something to do with the fact that he's got a lady problem—his opponent Sen. Mark Udall (D) has an edge among women voters.

Texas: Everything's bigger in Texas, especially women's issues. State Sen. Wendy Davis (D)—who you know for filibustering an anti-abortion bill in her pink sneaks—is VERY pro-choice. Her opponent in VERY pro-life.

Kentucky: Alison Grimes (D) is portraying her opponent, Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), as a he-man-woman hater. Grimes has a slight edge with the ladies, and is focusing on McConnell's record: he's voted against the Violence Against Women Act, and an equal pay bill.


After the 2010 midterms, a wave of measures restricting abortion were passed in states. Women's issues are always hot-button—but right now, they're particularly red-hot. And gay. marriage has changed from being THE issue to the asterisks—still a talking point, but less of a debate.


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