According to the Guttmacher Institute, the four most commonly used forms of birth control, accounting for more than 80 percent of the methods used, are the pill, tubal ligation, male condoms, and vasectomies. All of these prevent conception. Birth control pills work by preventing ovulation. Only a tiny fraction of contraceptives in use even conceivably (forgive the pun) involve inducing a miscarriage.
It's impossible to gauge how much of McAuliffe's 24-point advantage (according to a Washington Post poll) among women voters is attributable to these false ads. Women tend to be more liberal than men, and, as the bumper sticker has it, they vote. In every national election since 1984, women have turned out in larger numbers than men (and they are a numerical majority to begin with). It would certainly seem that Cuccinelli must rebut the contraceptive accusation if he hopes to gain ground.
If Cuccinelli were able to set the terms of debate -- say, by the infusion of cash from Republicans nationwide -- he might be able to highlight McAuliffe's ethical troubles. One of his ventures, Green Tech, is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. It seems that with the help of Hugh Rodham, (Mrs. Clinton's brother), Green Tech was able to get special help from the Department of Homeland Security in securing visas for big investors. McAuliffe's specialty is in knowing the right people.
It's not the first time his questionable business dealings have come under investigation. In the late 1990s, two officials of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers were investigated by the Department of Labor for a deal with McAuliffe and required to reimburse $5 million to the union's pension fund.
This week, Rhode Island media are reporting that McAuliffe was one of the investors in a fraudulent annuity scheme that stole the identities of terminally ill patients. McAuliffe explains that he was a "passive investor." Perhaps true, but trouble seems to follow him as the sparks fly upward.
McAuliffe is an enthusiastic booster of Obamacare and would sign Virginia up for the Medicaid expansion. Surely Republicans can do something with this? Anyone for a contest that is winnable?