If there’s one thing women keep an eye peeled for it’s men who try to manipulate them. If you are trying so hard to pander to us on one thing, it’s because you are assuming we are one-issue simpletons who won’t penalize you for ignoring all of the other things we care about. Turn me into a Barbie doll voter, and I will turn on you.
More than half of Udall’s ads are about Gardner relegating women to second-class citizenship and his attempts to limit their reproductive freedom, including access to contraception. Gardner outmaneuvered him by calling for over-the-counter birth control, which neutralized the issue (despite the fact that it would cost women more than it does if it’s covered by insurance), but Udall kept at it. In its surprise endorsement of Gardner, the Denver Post wrote that in an “obnoxious one-issue campaign,” Udall “has devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control.”
Udall suffers from a lack of colorful enemies to fight. Had this been 2012, he could have counted Republican foils such as Missouri Representative Todd Akin, whose bid for a Senate seat crashed and burned after he spouted bizarre claims about women possessing natural defenses against getting pregnant if raped. Sadly for Udall, what’s left of Republican discipline kept ridiculous candidates out and put a muzzle on anyone who snuck through and might make a peep. Look around for gaffes. There aren’t any.