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We Knew McDonnell Was Against Women’s Rights. Why Did Women Vote for Him Anyway?

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WomenVotedMcDonnellCandidate Bob McDonnell’s distaste for women’s rights was no secret. His masters thesis emerged early in the campaign, revealing his opposition to mothers working outside the home and to the use of contraception by unmarried couples.

A majority of women voters supported McDonnell anyway. It’s impossible to know the exact percent, but the final Washington Post poll before the election gives us a good idea. Fifty perfect of women backed McDonnell – and McDonnell actually went on to outperform the poll, winning 59% to 41%.

I understand the outrage at watching McDonnell’s views actually be implemented in Richmond. But I don’t think we can understand how to reverse the damage if we treat this as some completely unforeseen, unwarranted attack by aliens from outer space. The Republican war on women’s rights in Richmond is not an “overreach” as some are calling it – Bob McDonnell and his fellow Republicans are doing exactly what we knew they’d do.

Where do you think the failure lies? Were Democratic efforts to highlight McDonnell’s views insufficient? Did women choose to ignore McDonnell’s views, or to convince themselves he wouldn’t actually put his beliefs into action? Do women value these rights less than they value other issues? What can progressives do differently in the future to reach out to women in every corner of Virginia?