With the 2012 Election just days away, many voters have reacted to comments made by Indiana U.S. Senate Republican Candidate, Richard Mourdock, during a debate Tuesday night.
When sharing his pro-life stance on abortion, Mourdock said, "…I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
St. Mary's College Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Dr. Michael Kramer says the statement could impact the female vote.
"Women are an important constituency that the Republican Party has been trying to grow," says Dr. Kramer, "Their reaction to this has been very important."
Kramer remains unsure as to whether or not Mourdock will have enough time to recover his stance on women's issues. "Mourdock at this point hasn't shown enough sensitivity to abortion as a women's issue to have made up for lost ground."
Dr. Kramer says he is not surprised that Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney has distanced himself from the Tea Party favorite. "For a national race," Kramer says, "It is important to appeal to those middle voters. This is the type of issue that tends to have an impact on swing voters."
Social media has played a large role in heightening voter reaction during this election. Dr. Kramer said websites such as Twitter have the ability to increase candidate recognition…for better or worse.
"Richard Mourdock-who a lot of people around the country didn't know-suddenly became a trending topic on Twitter," Kramer said.
The backlash of comments and criticism of online blogs and news sites has the potential to keep controversial campaign stories around for longer periods of time.