One of the things that makes Charlie Dent so inoffensive to swing voters is that they think he’s pro-choice, and not some religious fundamentalist.
So it’ll be interesting to see where he comes down on this new John Boehner bill.
The Republicans want to roll back Obama’s new HHS rule that employer health plans have to cover contraception, because the Catholic church is complaining that Catholic hospitals and universities would have to cover birth control in their insurance plans.
The problem for Charlie Dent is that free contraception enjoys huge support from constituencies that he will need to win to keep his seat in 2012.
But when the conversation moves away from abortion to contraceptives – as it has this week – the intensity gap flips: A much larger segment of voters are willing to penalize a legislator who votes to defund family planning. That became apparent in polling that Democratic firm Lake Research Partners did earlier this year, which found that 40 percent of voters would be less likely to support a member of Congress who votes to defund family-planning programs. Just 22 percent would be more likely to support such a lawmaker.
If Mr. Dent votes to take away their free contraception, this seems likely to be a big liability for him with moderate swing voters. It will also be a good opening for Jackson Eaton to remind these voters about Charlie Dent’s crappy overall record on women’s health and equality issues.