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Let's say you are the North Carolina house speaker, and your name is Thom Tillis -- hypothetically. You have big bold dreams of being a fancy-pants United States senator, so you decide to challenge sitting Sen. Kay Hagan. Let us also say, just hypothetically, that while polling shows you are only slightly behind Sen. Hagan overall, it also shows you are having a wee bit of a problem wooing the ladies -- you are a Republican after all -- and "Hagan’s lead [is] 52 percent-34 percent among women." (For those of us who are bad at math, that's kind of a big gender gap.)


If your name is actually, not hypothetically, Thom Tillis, the solution is obvious: Make a real neat new ad mansplaining how Hagan -- who before becoming a senator was a lawyer and vice president of North Carolina's largest bank, where presumably she had to do some kind of math -- is really bad at math.

Seven percent. A 7 percent pay raise. That's what we passed this year for North Carolina teachers. That's simple math. But math is lost on Sen. Hagan. She's misleading you about me to hide her own partisan record. Kay Hagan votes with President Obama 96 percent of the time. She voted for $7 trillion in debt. That's math too. And it's the difference in this election.

It's funny, because we were unaware that stating numbers was actually "math." But what we do we know? Certainly not more than Thom Tillis, who certainly does know more about "math" than Sen. Hagan. He wrote numbers on a white board and everything! That's math! Even if silly little lady-brained Sen. Hagan doesn't get it.

So while we are doing "math," let's take a look at some other numbers that coincidentally came out just this week:

A couple of big mainstream Republican groups commissioned a major report on the party’s prospects with women, and the astonishing result is that the ladies just aren’t that into Republicans. Inorite?

[F]emale voters view the party as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.”

Women are “barely receptive” to Republicans’ policies, and the party does “especially poorly” with women in the Northeast and Midwest, according to an internal Crossroads GPS and American Action Network report obtained by POLITICO. It was presented to a small number of senior aides this month on Capitol Hill, according to multiple sources involved.

The report found that while 39 percent of women viewed Democrats unfavorably, nearly half — 49 percent – had an unfavorable view of Republicans.

Huh, can't imagine why ladies think Republicans just don't get them. Weird!

You know what else is weird? In his ad, Tillis pats himself on the back for being oh-so-good on education. And yet:

Tillis, speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, said in a primary debate on April 22 that he’d consider eliminating the U.S. Department of Education. His first priority as a U.S. senator, he said then, would be “clawing back” regulations and deciding whether the department “needs to exist in its current form.”

You know what is even weirder still?

North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature, with Tillis leading the House, passed income tax cuts in 2013 that resulted in a reduction in funding for education of $480 million over 2013 and 2014. The legislature met again this year and made budget adjustments that Gov. Pat McCrory signed last week. The budget agreement gives an average 7 percent raise to teachers, after factoring in longevity pay. Under the plan, teachers with the most experience get the smallest raise.

In addition, a major change in the latest budget agreement is that state funds no longer will automatically pay for growth in school enrollment.

Suddenly, that 7 percent raise doesn't sound as impressive as Tillis wants us to think, but what do we know, we are only ladies, and we are not good at math.

But then, considering that even bad-at-math ladies vote (even in the state of North Carolina!), Tillis's ad not-very-subtly suggesting Sen. Hagan is a real dumb-dumb with the numbers doesn't seem like the best way for him to shrink that big ol' gender gap he's facing. Strangely, women can sometimes feel -- oh, what's the phrase? -- "barely receptive" to Republicans, especially when Republicans try to woo them by insulting their intelligence. Which is why this ad doesn't seem calculated to lead to good results for math expert Thom Tillis.

That's okay, Thom, we understand. Math is hard.

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