In a new campaign ad, incumbent Colorado senator Mark Udall uses the A-word — abortion — not once but twice, while condemning his opponent for his anti-reproductive-rights and anti-birth-control stance. Remember the early aughts when that was a death knell? Not so much anymore.
Udall is running a tight race against Cory Gardner, a Colorado congressman, and in years past might have chosen to steer clear of such direct language, relying on euphemisms like “women’s health” or “women’s bodies” in its place. “How is it that we’re still debating a woman’s access to abortion or birth control” in 2014? he asks instead. (Gardner has voted for anti-birth-control-access legislation and sponsored the Life Begins at Conception Act.)
Gone are the days of conservative culture-war victories, at least if this election cycle is to be believed. It turns out Udall is just one of many candidates using reproductive issues and gay rights to win against more conservative opponents. Even in Virginia, anti-marriage-equality candidates have to offer up their Catholic faith as an excuse.
The shift, according to New York Times writer Jonathan Martin, is owed to “an electorate reshaped by a growing presence of liberal millennials, minorities, and a secular, unmarried and educated white voting bloc.”
That’s … pretty wide criteria. Hard to imagine it changing anytime soon.