Wendy Davis gets criticized for hard-edged ad that tells the truth.

Barbra Streisand makes pitch to women on voting, while Wendy Davis gets criticized for hard-edged ad that tells the truth. But will it inspire women to vote, which could tilt the balance of the Senate?

American women, the country needs to hear from you! Do you know how powerful your one voice can be? How powerful your one vote can be? – Barbra Streisand

IT’S A very tough ad from Democratic candidate Wendy Davis that is telling the truth and it’s getting a lot of attention in Texas, as Greg Abbott goes homophobic. Meanwhile, Karl Rove confesses on Fox News Channel that Alison Lundergan-Grimes could actually beat Mitch McConnell, because this is an anti-incumbent year. It’s why she may take the same road in the only Kentucky Senate debate tonight, with Lundergan-Grimes sure to come out swinging. But will all this mudslinging inspire women to vote?

Barbra Streisend makes the pitch today on Huffington Post that women need to vote in November, but will all this mudslinging inspire them to vote?

During off-year elections, too many women stay home when their votes are needed. In 2010, the last midterm election, 10 million unmarried women who voted in 2008 did not show up! As a result, conservatives swept to power and eviscerated policies aimed at supporting American women, especially in healthcare. We will face another mid-term election in several weeks. Will your voice be heard?

Republicans in Congress are blocking common sense policies from raising the minimum wage to modest background checks for gun owners. Some conservative state legislatures are passing laws to make it more difficult to vote. This should particularly concern women who spent almost 150 years fighting to “earn” this right. This is why it’s important to vote not only for Presidents, but also down the ballot for governors and state legislators who have a great deal of influence over your quality of life.

At a time when domestic violence is on the front pages, it took Congress a full year and a half to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. 160 Republicans voted against it! Women make up 51% of the country, but only 19% of Congress. We need more representation!

I am particularly concerned with women’s health. Because research on heart disease focused solely on men for so long, it was understood more as a man’s disease.

Meanwhile, heart disease is the number one killer of women… killing more women than all cancers combined… killing more women than men. This is just one example of why representing “women’s issues” in the governing body that doles out NIH grants is extremely important to our everyday health. It seems like women are still second-class citizens.

Quite a few years ago I dug into the voting patterns of women, especially single women. One of the things I found in the research I did was that negative ads only suppress their vote, they don’t inspire women to vote. Women prefer comparison ads, which are very effected if done right.

Women like to see candidate W(oman) compared with candidate M(an), if you will, and the differences in what they stand for in policy.

Georgia’s Michelle Nunn is hammering David Perdue on his outsourcing, something that will resonate with voters for obvious reasons.

As an aside, there’s a really great ad running continually in the Washington, D. C. area against Barbara Comstock, a political operative with absolutely vile standards. It shows a woman sitting in a chair talking about a woman’s civil rights to control her own reproductive health care, then shows a tape of Comstock wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade. It’s a tough ad, because it also talks about Virginia’s transvaginal probe push during the Bob McDonnell era. Will it help John Foust win? Who knows, but Comstock was considered a fairly easy race until progressives started turning the screws on Comstock, including slamming her on ethics. Unfortunately, Democrats have yanked millions from the Foust campaign, which is very bad news in this race.

Senator Kay Hagan has been facing a barrage of negative ads from Republicans, but she’s hanging tough. Her opponent Thom Tillis recently jumped the shark by stoking panic on Ebola, making the choice in that race very clear. He’s not the only Republican fanning fear and panic for votes, using Ebola to do it.

Wendy Davis is a great Democratic candidate and this won’t be her last race. Going this negative is an effort to bury Greg Abbott in a race where she’s still well behind. Will women respond to the ad focusing on a rape victim suing a corporation who let a sexual predator get away? Inflammatory stuff, for sure, but I just don’t know if it will inspire women to vote for Davis.

Tonight is the Senate Kentucky debate, the only one Mitch McConnell agreed to participate in. Alison Lundergan-Grimes gets one shot. It’s likely she’ll come out blasting.

For women candidates it’s tougher than that, however. Unlike men, women take a larger hit if they’re also not likable. It’s not easy running for office if you’re a woman. There remains a higher bar for women, which even voters who are women are guilty of setting.

Right now the Senate remains a jump ball. The only thing that can shift it towards Democrats is if women come out to vote in a very big way for women, but also the Democratic males who have their backs more than Republican candidates.

I’d like to be optimistic, but this is not only an anti-incumbent midterm year, but this is the year of the very angry voter, as Chuck Todd talked about on Meet the Press. Third party candidates are going to impact races across the county. Considering the fecklessness of Congress and how strongly the vast majority of the American public feel about them, having any incentive to vote will be hard to come by for most.