The GOP's Laser-Like Focus on Libido and Ladyparts

Republicans seemed to have learned nothing about appealing to women voters.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks during the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 29, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.

Mike Huckabee was successfully trolled by Miley Cyrus.

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DENVER - Judging by the early results, ladyparts may yet again shut the whole thing down for the Republican Party in the next election cycle. They're certainly providing some interesting twists in the 2016 Republican primary, even as the party doubles down on attacking reproductive rights in the 2014 midterms.

As former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee helpfully put it at the Republican National Committee's winter meeting:

If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government then so be it! Let us take that discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the tea party.]

The result? The Republican base loved it. According to a poll released Wednesday by the Democratic PPP polling firm, Huckabee has taken a three-point lead as the preferred presidential candidate among GOP primary voters. As Talking Points Memo put it, "Uncle Sugar has apparently provided Mike Huckabee with a polling bounce."

Cosmopolitan magazine, that bastion of the Bedside Astrologer which is also the largest-circulation women's magazine in the world, had its own tart response to Huckabee's remarks, asking Twitter users to employ the hashtag #CantControlMyLibido to weigh in on Huckabee's comments. And the magazine got this response:

Protip to the Republicans and Mike Huckabee: when you've been trolled by Cosmopolitan magazine and Miley Cyrus, you're losing the single women's vote. And a whole lot of other women besides.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Catholic contraception controversy.]

You'd think after repeated losses in Colorado, Missouri and now the Virginia governor's race that Republicans would have wised up to the fact that attacking abortion and reproductive rights and birth control yields diminishing returns. But to the contrary, they're making it a centerpiece of their 2014 strategy.

Reuters, in an article article titled "Republican Strategy For 2014 Looks Similar To 2012," noted that "this week's meeting of Republican officials has been an affirmation of the party's reluctance to change its core strategies for the 2014 midterm elections: Opposition to abortion and an assault on Obamacare, as the president's healthcare overhaul is known … The focus on abortion and Obamacare, analysts say, also could undermine Republican efforts to lure women and minority voters who strongly support abortion rights and Obama's efforts to help millions of uninsured Americans get health coverage."

Maybe Republicans should focus less on libidos and more on actual voters and results. Until they do, they'll keep wondering why their base keeps getting smaller.