Colorado Republicans Versus Planned Parenthood

For an RH Reality Check post last week, I interviewed some pundits, who are well-known to political insiders in Colorado, for their take on whether Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood will affect candidates in next year's election in Colorado.

The attacks against Planned Parenthood were launched after an anti-choice group released heavily edited tapes of Planned Parenthood officials discussing sales of fetal tissue for research. No evidence of wrongdoing has emerged.

The analysts I interviewed offered a range of opinion on the topic, but I think it's fair to say that, outside of pleasing hard-core Republican voters, the Planned Parenthood attacks were deemed inconsequential at best and damaging at worst to the GOP's electoral efforts next year in Colorado.

Here's one view on the situation:

"Given what we know at this point, it seems to me that Planned Parenthood is the wrong organization for Republicans to go after, because it has a great deal of good will," said Norman Provizer, Professor of Political Science at Metropolitan State University of Denver. "Overall, from a political perspective, I think it's an act of desperation to find a battle you think you might win after a long string of losses on the social issues front. But it's the wrong organization to go after."

"It is going to highlight the women's issue again, which could be damaging to Republicans" continued Provizer.

The others I interviewed (Jennifer E. Duffy, Senior Editor at the Cook Political Report; Prof. Robert Loevy of Colorado College; Political analyst Floyd Ciruli) had somewhat different opinions, which you can read here, but most saw the attacks as dicey, from a political perspective, for Republicans.

A related question, which Duffy addresses briefly in my piece, is: what will Democrats do with the Planned Parenthood issue going forward? Michael Bennet has voted against stripping federal funds from the organization, and you've seen some Dems defending the group.

But will more Democrats proactively fire back and denounce the Planned Parenthood attackers as we approach the election, assuming no evidence of actual factual lawbreaking emerges?

Everyone knows how important women voters are in Colorado and how determined the anti-choice activists are to push their agenda forward. That combination will likely keep the Planned Parenthood controversy in play through next year.