Having neutralized some opponents and watched Republicans stumble, the Democrats think that they are winning this fight. Democratic pollster Doug Schoen thinks that “the issue of access to contraception” could cost Republicans the chance to take the White House and the Senate this fall. Timothy Noah writes in The New Republic that Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) has damaged himself as a vice-presidential pick by helping to lead the opposition to the mandate. Noah’s colleague Alec MacGillis warns that Senator Scott Brown (R., Mass.) will rue the day Republicans joined this fight.
Inconveniently for this thesis, Senator Brown has been moving up in the polls as this battle has raged. There is no Senate race in the country where the issue has been more prominent. Brown has taken a strong stand against the mandate and gotten criticized for it by his leading Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren. . . .