Women across the country do amazing and powerful things every day, but we have a special superpower right now: Our votes.
You've probably sensed this. It seems like every day there's a new headline about the importance of women voters. We're in the middle of a "war" over women voters. Parties are "in search of female voters." Women are "scrambling Senate races," forcing candidates to go "on the offensive to woo" us or -- and here's a mildly offensive one -- "close the sale with women voters."
Why are we so powerful right now? Why are we "Supervoters?" Because in the upcoming midterm elections, control of the U.S. Senate is a toss-up. Just a few hotly contested states will determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate for the remaining years of President Obama's tenure. And women in those key states are widely seen as the decisive voices.
Lucky for all of us, women voters tend to be more progressive than men. And no wonder: We've seen what (mostly) Republican men in leadership have done over the last few years as they've pandered to their hyper-conservative base.
They've slashed funding for education to such an extent that in red states like Kansas, teachers have been forced to serve as janitors for their schools. They've questioned whether some acts of rape were "legitimate." They've closed abortion clinics and forced invasive medical procedures to women seeking care. They've given employers control over their employees' contraception coverage.
So of course women, as a whole, are more progressive and forward-looking when we head to the polls. We understand that putting some of these guys in power is like giving our most misogynist, anti-choice, creepy uncle a leading role in deciding how we and our families should live our lives. No thanks!
Given all this, Republicans have been scrambling to figure out just what to do. For months, some Republicans have tried to market themselves a little differently and convince voters they're on women's sides. Some candidates are avoiding questions about women's health. Others have tried to position themselves as champions of access to contraception -- which is just plain bizarre, as they continue to support a federal bill that would have outlawed some common forms.
Let's be clear. We've seen what Republicans have done in the past. And looking to the future, a Republican-controlled Senate would:
- Attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has helped millions of women find coverage and prevented insurance companies from charging us more than men;
- Push hard to revoke a woman's right to a safe abortion and to allow employers to control the health care decisions of their employees;
- Pass budgets with devastating cuts to education funding and social services, like Social Security.
Of course, that's not all -- we could also see more tax cuts for the wealthy, efforts to gut environmental regulations that keep our families safe, new judicial nominees with extreme views on issues that affect us all and legislation that threatens the status and wellbeing of gay and lesbian Americans and undocumented immigrants.
This is why our votes are so crucial -- especially if you're a woman in one of the closest Senate battleground states like Iowa, Colorado and North Carolina.
MoveOn members across the country are working their hearts out to ensure women in these states vote, and MoveOn has taken on new tact to remind women of our power. We're running ads in major newspapers and on websites like Cosmo.com. We're holding candidates, and even newspapers, accountable to the best interests of voters. And we've already made more than 1 million phone calls to women in these states and are slated to make another million-plus before Election Day.
It's simple: If women stay home on Election Day, candidates who are fighting for women and families will lose. We can't afford that.
So, Supervoter, how will you use your powers?