The battle between pro-life and pro-choice Americans leaves very little middle ground, and politicians have always seemed content to simply avoid the topic if at all possible. Of course, the vocal groups on the extremes of the debate make that difficult. Pro-choice Barack Obama has decided to make his position known via a radio buy in several swing states.
According to Politico.com, he is acting on advice by issue activists who claim many women are unaware that his opponent John McCain has a long pro-life track record and would ban abortion except under certain extreme circumstances. Politico says this decision was made prior to the selection of Sarah Palin (R-AK) as McCain’s running mate – but her presence on the ticket underscores the message since her position on the issue is even stronger than McCain’s.
McCain has indicated on several occasions that he would move to reverse Roe v. Wade, the key pro-choice Supreme Court decision supported by Obama.
RBR/TVBR observation: The battle over abortion is emotional and politically toxic, so it’s not hard to imagine why radio would be the medium of choice to address this issue. It can be targeted more precisely than network television, and the content itself is less apt to be put up on the internet by members of the opposition who would use it to make their own political hay – not that it would be immune from such a use. That it can be utilized quickly and relatively inexpensively underscores radio’s usefulness in a fast-paced and volatile campaign.