There are many people, including some big bloggers, telling women and men who believe strongly about women's reproductive rights to just shut the fuck up and get behind the Party. These people say that Bob Casey, Jr.'s anti-choice views are why he can beat Republican Rick Santorum. Such is the cold calculus of dealing away people's rights to try win elections.
But is this electoral math accurate? Is the assumption true that Pennsylvania would go for a Democratic candidate who's against reproductive rights? Pennsylvania voted for the pro-choice Democratic presidential nominee the last four elections.
Yet there's no question about where Casey stands on women's rights over their own bodies:
It would seem obvious: Democratic Senate candidate Robert P. Casey Jr., who opposes abortion, believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
"You can't say you have the position I have and not believe that," Casey said in a recent interview about the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made legal abortions available nationwide.
Some would argue that Casey's brand of anti-choice is "better" than Santorum's.
But a Quinnipiac University survey released last week suggests Casey could lose support as his abortion stance draws more attention. It found almost a third of respondents who identified themselves as pro-Casey and pro-abortion-rights said they would not vote for him after being told he opposes abortion. Sixty-six percent would stay with him, the poll found.
The drop-off might not be so steep in the end, but it suggests that Casey's 12-point lead over Santorum might be much smaller, said Clay Richards, a Quinnipiac pollster. The poll of 1,447 state voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.
It also underscores how Casey could struggle against a well-financed primary opponent who backs abortion rights, Richards said. Two abortion-rights proponents - Bucks County professor Chuck Pennacchio and Philadelphia lawyer Alan Sandals - plan to challenge Casey, but both trail him in fund-raising and name recognition. Santorum faces his own primary challenge from John Featherman, a Philadelphia real estate broker who favors abortion rights.
Isn't that interesting? Just as we're hearing crap that Democrats, who've already now pitched the ERA from their platform, have to ditch women's reproductive rights to win elections, we see Republicans who support abortion rights stepping into the race.
Seems like the Republicans are starting to see their "pro-life" positions as political liabilities. So why do the Democrats so covet that patriarchal corner of the so-called "big tent"?
"Bob Casey can't win a tough campaign against Rick Santorum without a strong turnout from the pro-choice majority in Pennsylvania," Pennacchio said last week. "Democrats should not repeat the mistake we made in 2000" with Ron Klink.
Klink was the Democrats' previous "pro-life" candidate for the Senatorial seat. In that election, PA voted for Gore ... and Santorum. That's how sufficiently unmoved Democratic voters were by Klink's candidacy.