I think this Hobby Lobby ruling really could end up blowing up in the faces of the Republicans and it could happen relatively soon. If the Democrats are smart, they should have campaign commercials on this issue running tomorrow, especially in key Senate races.
At a time when Republicans are trying to reach out to women and narrow the gender gap, this comes at a terrible time for them and the Democrats need to take advantage of that. The optics of five old men making a decision that has a huge effect on women around the country is not a good one for the GOP. And with Democrats struggling to hold on to the Senate in the November midterms, they should seize the opportunity to drive more women to the polls and attract independent women voters to their side.
There are several key Senate races around the country with women on the ballot, most obviously Alison Grimes running against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. That race is very tight and likely to stay that way, so if women show up at the polls in the upcoming midterms in the numbers they turn out in for presidential elections, that could easily be enough to swing the race. The same is true of Michelle Nunn in Georgia and Natalie Tennant in West Virginia.
Even here in Michigan, where the Republican candidate is a woman, Terri Lynn Land, and the Democrat is a man, Gary Peters, this could have a similar effect. Peters has already been running ads saying Land is bad for women and this gives him a perfect argument: Put Land in the Senate and Obama won’t be able to get any more judicial nominees confirmed, even for the Supreme Court.
And you know who should be leading the fight on this? Hillary Clinton. She should be scheduling campaign appearances right now with Senate candidates all over the country and focus primarily on this issue. If the Democrats take advantage of this opportunity, they may be able to retain control of the Senate.