It's an oldie but a goodie in Virginia politics, which is why Democrats are ramping up the abortion debate in time for the fall election. Their goal: win female votes by warning that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Senate candidate George Allen are anti-abortion extremists.
"If they lose women, they lose the election," a top Democratic strategists working on the abortion messaging told Secrets
The Obama campaign moved first against Romney, airing an ad in Virginia charging that Romney wants to ban abortion. "It's a scary time to be a woman," says the woman in the Obama ad. "Mitt Romney is just so out of touch," she adds.
Next to face the attack is Allen and his comments earlier this year endorsing so-called "personhood" initiatives that declare life at inception, meaning that virtually any abortion would be barred as well as use of a morning after pill. Some variations of personhood legislation even include a ban on some contraception, which Allen doesn't back.
A key Democrat said that support groups will use part of an estimated $7.5 million anti-Allen budget to hit his position either in ads or through direct mail. Democrats reason that most voters don't agree with personhood legislation and view it as too extreme. Personhood ballot measures have died in Mississippi and Colorado.
Republicans reject the abortion attacks, claiming that women are much more concerned with jobs and the economy to vote just one issue. But one key Democrat told Secrets that labeling Romney and Allen abortion extremists "will move the needle" a bit against them even among women who aren't tuned into the abortion fight.