Crime played an unexpected role in the election: Two Republicans who made widely criticized remarks about abortion and rape lost their Senate elections Tuesday, the result of a massive backlash by female voters in states where Republicans should have won handily, says Politico. Rep. Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana each made controversial remarks about rape that played a significant role in shaping their public image, resulting in losses that make it highly unlikely that the Republicans could win control of the Senate.
The long-running public debate about abortion was transformed in this election cycle: It became about rape and fed into a larger national theme of the “war on women.” Planned Parenthood Action Fund said the losses proved “there is a political price to pay for demeaning and dismissing women.” In Akin and Walsh’s cases, they made statements that medical doctors said were flat out wrong. And in Akin and Mourdock’s cases, they brought rape — of all topics — into the already red-hot controversy over abortion rights, remarks that all but ended their political bids. Women broke strongly against them, according to polls conducted in Mourdock and Walsh’s districts in the final days of the race.