Obama Campaign Flying on Auto-Pilot

There’s a saying among pilots: Plan your flight, and fly your plan.  If you’ve done your homework beforehand, your plan is the surest way out of trouble and to your destination.

Nevertheless, any good flight plan includes alternatives in the case of, say, unexpected headwinds.

For several months, it has been clear that the Democrats’ closing argument was going to be about abortion and birth control.  With the economy still in the tank, and foreign policy not a top-line issue for most voters, there was no place else for them to turn.  Now that foreign policy has turned obviously and embarrassingly sour, all the moreso.

The demographic reasons for this are obvious – abortion and “free” contraception are largely issues for younger, single women, and the “gender gap” is as much as “marriage gap” as anything.  The Democrats know that the best way to get a woman to start voting Republican is for her to get married (which also probably explains about 95% of “Julia”).

The Democrats knew this at the beginning of the year, when George Stephanopolous asked Mitt Romney repeatedly about states banning contraception in that debate, and when the HHS issued its mandate that employers buy contraception for their women employees.

They knew this because they were trying to replicate the success that Michael Bennet had here in Colorado in 2010, winning re-election to his Senate seat in a Republican year, and doing it by beating his Republican opponent Ken Buck up on abortion.  Guy Cecil – his campaign manager and now head of the DSCC – repeatedly said so.  Bennet himself said so at the DNC, and more recently when introducing Joe Biden up in Greeley.  The NY Times said so.  Rachel Maddow said so.  From the beginning of the year, they’ve made no secret of the fact by this point in the election cycle the cries of “contraception” and “abortion” would be so loud you couldn’t hear the math.

My wife used to be a registered Democrat, and so ends up getting almost all the Democrat mailers.  Four mailers, all about abortion and contraception.

And it’s not just the race for president where the Dems have adopted this carpet-bombing strategy.  The only ads I’ve seen attacking incumbent Republican Congressmen Scott Tipton and Mike Coffman have centered on abortion and contraception.

The problem is, it’s not working.

Yes, there’s still a gender gap, but with women only giving Obama a slight plurality, and men overwhelmingly supporting Romney, the numbers just don’t seem to be there for the Democrats at the Presidential level.  And if this is their primary attack in Senate races – so far, I’ve seen it used in Ohio, Virginia, Connecticut (with a woman Republican nominee), Montana, North Dakota, and of course, Missouri – there’s good reason to think the Dems are setting themselves up to lose the Senate, too.

To return to the flight metaphor, the Democrats are flying their plan, but they didn’t count on those headwinds, and they’re now running out of fuel without any alternate airports around.  They have no alternative strategy except to continue to amp up the volume, with cries of “Romnesia” by the President, and the possibility of a an October Surprise not in Iran or Libya, but by Gloria Allred.  I’d be surprised if that works, mostly because it’s already been factored into people’s votes.

The Democrats are flying their plan, but instead of remaining engaged, looking for alternatives, staying abreast of the weather reports, they’re flying it on auto-pilot.

Which as any pilot will tell you, is a great way to not reach your destination.

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