Despite the best efforts of the Obama camp and many left-wing pundits to blur the differences, it looks like Americans can tell the difference between Todd Akin and Mitt Romney when it comes to abortion. The New York Times reports: “In the wake of the widespread outrage over a Missouri congressman’s remarks about rape and abortion, about 60 percent of Americans do not think his comments reflect the views of most Republicans, according to the latest CBS News poll. That result includes a majority of women. And while there is little gender difference overall on abortion views, women and Democrats are more likely than men or Republicans to say they could not back a candidate who disagreed with them on abortion.” Maybe voters aren’t quite as dense as Democrats think they are.

Moreover, the voters are not as fixated on the abortion issue as Democrats had hoped. By a large majority (57 percent to 34 percent), voters say they could vote for someone with whom they disagree on abortion.

A further disappointment to pro-abortion-on-demand Democrats is that 61 percent of voters don’t support abortion without limitations. Only 35 percent of the electorate buys the Democratic position — “permitted in all cases.” Lastly, there are no significant gender differences in voters’ responses.

No matter what the topic of the attacks — Bain, tax returns, abortion, Medicare, etc. — the voters aren’t biting, at least not yet. Maybe the plethora of attacks has inured the voters to new barbs. I would like to think that the pettiness of the barbs or their obvious falsity have turned off voters very conscious of the momentous times in which we find ourselves.

I would hope that one lesson from this election is that no matter how much money politicians spend and how sleazy the ads, Americans have enough common sense to screen out the nonsense. If that turns out to be the case, then it will, for all the complaints, have turned out to be a serious campaign. Indeed, it would be reassuring to our democracy and for the prospects of governance in general that candidates do not, at least not invariably, get rewarded for their abhorrent campaign tactics.