for Republicans (Lian
Pity the poor Republicans.
In 2010, finally freed from the shackles of their belief that women should keep their damn mouths shut and leave the serious governing stuff to the menfolk, Republicans applauded themselves for their bold realization that chicks can do stuff too. They even convinced themselves that 2010 was going to be the Year of the Woman, but for Republicans. With Sarah Palin stomping around the country, anointing lady candidates with her magical Mama Grizzly fairy dust, Republicans seemed poised to finally seize that reliable lady voting bloc from Democrats.
Sadly for Republicans, it didn't exactly work out as they'd hoped. Meg Whitman, Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell and Carly Fiorina were all laughed into obscurity, and even some of the successful lady candidates, like South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, did better with men than women--not exactly demonstrating an ability to arouse conservative women to rise up in a show of sisterly solidarity.
Still, Republicans managed to do better with women voters than they'd ever done before, not because they actually did well with women, but because Democrats did a piss-poor job of giving women a reason to bother voting at all. Thus, Republicans remained convinced that they just might have a shot with the lady voters in 2012.
So what did Republicans do? Why, they ramped up their war on women, of course. And now, according to NPR:
[T]he events of recent days are raising questions about whether Republicans, who so recently saw an opportunity to close the gender gap, may now be watching it widen given the recent maelstrom surrounding women, contraception, Congress, Catholics and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. [...]
Many Republicans are still shaking their heads at how quickly the debate turned on an issue where they had traction with a wide swath of the electorate.