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On Birth Control, GOP Male Leaders Woefully Out of Touch, Except With Other GOP Men

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Republican male leaders have become sneeringly, cartoonishly out of touch with women, even those in their own party.

Today a Congressional hearing ignited when House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (CA) refused to seat a female witness after hearing an all-male panel of birth control coverage opponents, calling the witness unqualified.

Not to be outdone, Foster Friess, the financial backer of Republican Presidential candidate (and known contraception-hater) Rick Santorum, wistfully recalled the days when "gals" held "Bayer Aspirin between their knees" as a method of contraception.

You would be right to wonder, "What are they thinking?" Well, they do not seem to be thinking with an eye to the general election, as only Republican men oppose full coverage of birth control. In yesterday's CBS/NYT poll, two-thirds of voters support this coverage. The kind folks at the New York Times provided us with breakouts by gender and party, which appear in the chart below. Note that Republican women support full birth control coverage, and independents feel more like Democrats. [UPDATE: a chart error was corrected.]

2012-02-17-margieomero-revisedbcchart.gif

Yesterday I wrote about the consistent support for birth control coverage and basically all (99 percent) women who have had sex have also used birth control. If Republicans think it is politically advantageous to mock women, shut them out of the political process, and deny access to care that 99 percent of them use, then they are in even worse shape headed into November than we thought.

  Obama Romney
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332 206
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Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
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Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
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* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
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Seats won 201 234
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