In 2004, during one of the presidential debates, George W. Bush was asked a direct question about Roe v. Wade and whether he wanted that decision reversed. He refused to answer the question and, inexplicably, John Kerry didn't point out that he hadn't answered the question. Bush's failure to directly answer the question led some observers to believe that Karl Rove realized that while saying he wanted Roe v. Wade reversed would help him with social conservatives, it would hurt him with women who may like Republicans on economic issues, but are suspicious of them on social issues.
John McCain, however, when aaked about Roe v. Wade during the Republican primaries, came right out and said that it was a bad decision and should be reversed.
While McCain might deserve points for being candid, this forthright proclamation about Roe could hurt him with women, if they know where he stands.
There is indications, however, that they don't know where he stands. This is from an article in AlterNet:
A February Planned Parenthood poll of 1,205 women voters in 16 battleground states found that 50 percent of women voters don't know McCain's position on abortion, and that 49 percent of women who backed McCain were pro-choice. Forty-six percent of women supporting McCain said they'd like to see Roe v. Wade upheld -- though McCain says he supports overturning the decision. When they learned of his position on Roe, 36 percent of women who identified as both pro-choice and likely McCain voters said they would be less likely to vote for him.
These moderate, often suburban, middle-class women could be critical swing voters this election. At the time of the Planned Parenthood poll, Obama held only a 5 percentage-point margin over McCain with its swing-state demographic, 41 percent to 36 percent. (You can read the whole article here.)
It would be interesting to see how women in a county like Medina County would respond to knowing that McCain wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. Medina County has a lot of pro-life voters, but it also has a lot of women who are pro-choice although lean Republican. Our guess is that it would cost McCain votes, but we could be wrong.