Rush Limbaugh isn't the only one who stands to pay for his insulting tirade against law student Sandra Fluke, whom he called a "slut" for advocating mandatory health-insurance coverage for contraception. Pollsters say the influential conservative broadcaster's remarks have reinforced the Democratic argument that Republicans are waging a "war against women," and have thus hurt GOP presidential candidates with women voters. Did Limbaugh give President Obama's re-election campaign an unintended boost?
Limbaugh is driving women toward Obama: The president "should send Rush Limbaugh a thank-you note," says Judith Timson at the Toronto Globe & Mail. Limbaugh's "ugly attempt to sexually discredit Sandra Fluke, infuriated women — and men — everywhere," giving moderates another reason to vote for Democrats in the fall. Obama deftly showed his support for women by commending Fluke, while the Republican candidates disgraced themselves by only "tepidly condemning" Limbaugh's "vile, misogynist tirade."
"Rush Limbaugh gives women another reason to vote for Obama"
Republicans will be fine once they change the subject: "You've got to hand it to Democratic strategists," says Bernard Goldberg at his blog. They've got people believing that opposing "free contraceptives at the expense of others" is as ghoulish as denying women the right to vote. And Limbaugh, by "crossing the line," fell right into their trap. But Republicans can repair the damage by shifting the debate away from the bogus "war on women," and back to what should be the "hottest" campaign issue — the economy.
"How Democrats can take the 'war on women' to the next level"
But the GOP has a lot of ground to make up: Before Rush opened his mouth, says Liz Halloran at NPR, "Republicans seemed to have a shot at overcoming Democrats' long-standing edge with women voters" in presidential elections. Remember, the GOP beat Democrats among women in the 2010 midterms — the Right's best showing in 18 years. Now, thanks in part to Limbaugh, polls say Republicans are once again falling in the estimation of women voters. Republicans have time to turn the tables, but Limbaugh's rant certainly didn't help.
"Can Republicans win over women in November?"