How will the Planned Parenthood attacks play in next year’s election?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

komen-planned-parenthood4-1For an RH Reality Check post yesterday, I interviewed some familiar pundits for their take on the question of whether continued attacks on Planned Parenthood, including the recent demand by 30 GOP state lawmakers for an investigation of the women’s health organization, will affect candidates in next year’s election in Colorado.

They offered a range of opinion on the topic, but I think it’s fair to say that, outside of pleasing hard-core Republican voters, the Planned Parenthood attacks were deemed neutral at best and damaging at worst to the GOP’s electoral efforts next year in Colorado. For example:

“Given what we know at this point, it seems to me that Planned Parenthood is the wrong organization for Republicans to go after, because it has a great deal of good will,” said Norman Provizer, Professor of Political Science at Metropolitan State University of Denver. “Overall, from a political perspective, I think it’s an act of desperation to find a battle you think you might win after a long string of losses on the social issues front. But it’s the wrong organization to go after.”

“It is going to highlight the women’s issue again, which could be damaging to Republicans” continued Provizer.

The others I interviewed (Jennifer E. Duffy, Senior Editor at the Cook Political Report; Prof. Robert Loevy of Colorado College; Political analyst Floyd Ciruli) had somewhat different opinions, which you can read here, but most saw the attacks as dicey, from a political perspective, for Republicans who want to reach beyond the base voters.

A related question, which Duffy addresses briefly in my piece, is, what will Democrats do in response to the Planned Parenthood controversy going forward? Michael Bennet has voted against stripping federal funds from the organization, and you’ve seen some Dems defending the group.

But will we see more proactive responses from Dems as we approach the election, assuming no evidence of actual factual wrongdoing emerges? As yet, no such evidence has been produced.

Everyone knows how important women voters are in Colorado and how determined the anti-choice activists are to push their agenda forward. That combination will likely keep the Planned Parenthood controversy in play through next year.

6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    Hey, The Donald says it does mostly good stuff so…

  2. FrankUnderwood says:

    Maybe we'll see the right wing mirro image of the '14 Udall campaign strategy. Non-stop pictures of aborted feti next to a scowling photo of Tim Neville. We'll need to get some photo ops of Bennet standing in front of those wind farms that Gardner used so effectively.

    • notaskinnycook says:

      Props for getting the Latin right, Frank. And let's hope Udall's flame-out is a cautionary tale for the Bennet campaign. I'm off to a wedding. Our nephew (my brother's boy) found a girl he can’t live without. I agree. He's better with her.

  3. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    I have a feeling that the whole Planned Parenthood issue is now peaking and is on the decline. It may get occasional additional noise, likely when Congress re-convenes shortly as Ted Cruz seems hell bent to shut down the government if PP isn't de-funded. Whether one likes Obamacare or not, the prior time that Cruz shut things down due to his demagoguery on Obamacare didn't turn out well for the far right.

    The PP thing will likely get more "noise" in the next session of the Legislature. But I do think the anti-abortion activists are vulnerable to a religious liberty argument in that they want to impose their ideology on others. Said action does violate the Colorado Constitution, just as the ban-all-abortions bill early this year violated same.

    Or, to look at it differently, the 30% of the population that automatically opposes abortion of any kind or for any reason; and sees IUDs as abortifacients, will be after PP (about the same, averaged, percentage that voted for the three personhood initiatives). 30-40% of the electorate will be for PP through thick & thin. The remaining third might be up for grabs, but I doubt it. The Center for Medical Progress, and the Operation Rescue goons lurking behind the CMP, is just too prone to mindless sensationalism, for most peoples’ taste.  

  4. mamajama55 says:

    Nice article on RH Reality check, Jason.

    CHB, you're probably right in your 1/3 division: 1/3 hate all abortion no matter what so they are rabid to defund PP even though PP does very little abortion, 1/3 pro-choice standing with PP no matter what, and 1/3 lukewarm, conditional pro-choice, interested or former clients of PP.

    I don't think this attack has any future benefit for Republican candidates. They were able to successfully defund ACORN with similar nonsense, but ACORN did have some vulnerabilities with its finances and staffing. Planned Parenthood's finances are impeccable.  There was another Breitbart fake video in 2010, that showed USDA official Shirley Sherrod supposedly being racist against white farmers, and she was forced to resign, but later, she received an apology, and was offered a new position, which she did not accept. She is suing Breitbart's widow and his organization for defamation of character.

    I think that we as a country are more skeptical of these amazingly well-timed videos.

    • DaftPunk says:

      A small portion of services delivered by Planned Parenthood are abortions, but they do one third of the abortions in the country, largely as a result of harassment, violence, and restrictive laws making it unappealing for doctor's offices to provide.

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