Tales from the Trail

Will the “War on Women” have legs in November?

Democrats should not hold back from the “war on women” in campaigning for the Nov. 6 election, Senator Jeanne Shaheen said, even if the economy will be on voters’ minds as they head to the polls.

“I’m old enough to remember the ’50s and before … contraceptives were widely available to people, what my mother and other women were dealing with,” the New Hampshire Democrat said on Tuesday at the Reuters Washington Summit. “I’m old enough to remember what it was like before Roe v. Wade, and I think access to reproductive health services for women is critical.  And I don’t think women in this country are planning to go back.”

Polls generally show Democratic President Barack Obama with an advantage over Republican candidate Mitt Romney among women voters, but some recent surveys have shown Romney gaining ground. Democrats have sought to maintain their advantage by advertising what they call a Republican “war on women,” which casts the party as insensitive on issues such as equal pay for women, healthcare, protection against domestic abuse and access to contraception. 

Shaheen said the issue would be on voters’ minds in November if they were reminded about it and that they should be, after Romney skewed to the right while battling for the nomination against socially conservative Republican opponents.

“It depends on how those issues are talked about and to what extent people are reminded about where the candidates stand, and the fact that … when [Romney] was asked about those issues during the presidential primary process, he was where the right wing of where the Republican party was,” she said.

Two more pickups for Democrats in Senate

WASHINGTON – Democrats are expected to pick up two more Republican Senate seats: North Carolina and New Hampshire, according to projections by television networks.

After a campaign that turned particularly nasty in the final weeks in North Carolina, Fox News projected Democratic state lawmaker Kay Hagan would defeat incumbent Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

Meanwhile in New Hampshire, NBC News projected that Republican Sen. John Sununu would lose to Democratic rival Jeanne Shaheen.