Now, did the Mourdock blunder alter the presidential race?
The evidence of this is clearly circumstantial, in part because the presidential polling was all over the map. But on Oct. 15, USA Today ran a Gallup poll showing Republican Mitt Romney trailing President Obama by just 49-48 percent among women in the crucial swing states . . .
What happened between Oct. 15 and Nov. 6 that changed the surge of female support to Romney to the game changing hand President Obama displayed on Election Day?
Perhaps Mourdock’s fateful “God intends” rape remark on Oct. 23.
Obama carried 58 percent of the female vote in New Hampshire, 55 percent in Ohio, 54 in Virginia, 53 in Florida, 56 in Pennsylvania, 59 in Iowa, 57 in Wisconsin and 51 in Colorado.
The Obama campaign used the Mourdock “rape intends” remark in radio ads in Virginia and Colorado in the final days of the campaign, and he won both states . . .
Howey also thinks Mourdock is to blame for Mike Pence's closer-than-expected race against John Gregg. I'm not sure how he explains Romney's nearly 10-point win in Indiana where he was on the same ballot with Mourdock, while Mourdock supposedly acted as a drag on him in states like Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia where he was not on the ballot, or how he explains the Republican super majorities Indiana voters elected to the Indiana House and Senate and the Republican pick-up of the congressional seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly. At least he didn't try to blame Tony Bennett's loss in the state superintendent's race on Mourdock.No wonder Republican Karen Hughes, former advisor to President George W. Bush, observed, “If another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue. The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of ‘legitimate rape.’”
Or, as the legendary Hoosier wit Kurt Vonnegut might put it, “and so it goes.”