President Obama has emerged with an impressive lead in swing states around the country — thanks to women voters abandoning the GOP in droves, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll showing President Obama leading among women voters in the top dozen battleground states by a whopping 18 points — greater than the 12-point gender gap he won with in 2008.
One month ago, the same poll showed Mitt Romney leading the president by 2 percentage points; but Sunday, the newest poll gave Obama a 9-point lead, 51 percent to 42 percent. The change, the poll indicates, comes from women:
“The biggest change came among women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney’s support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30%. The president leads him 2-1 in this group.”
When faced with this issue, I keep hearing Republicans brush it off. I keep hearing them say that come November the economy will be the issue. Newsflash: Contraception is part of the economy. It’s something most women have to, or had to, budget for. Family Planning can’t be dismissed as single issue voting – it encompasses too much. It affects where we can afford to live, our grocery bill, the cost of daycare, college funding, etc. It is the economy, and women, and men, know this.
The path the Republican Party has taken on women’s issues has caught the attention of… well, women. If they want this voting group back they will have to do much more than simply dropping the subject – which appears to be Mitt Romney’s plan.
It won’t work. Women won’t forget what was said in the Republican primary about contraception. And if Mitt Romney thinks staying mum on this issue during the general election will bring women back to him then he doesn’t understand human nature.
I’ve been trying to think of a comparison to this issue and all I came up with is if a candidate ran on reinstating the draft. Whether you agree with that idea or not, it wouldn’t simply vanish. And if your strategy consisted of not discussing it anymore then you would be judged on your last words regarding the issue. In Romney’s case, it will be his support of the Blunt Amendment and stating that he wanted to get rid of Planned Parenthood. He’d need to denounce both of those positions, quite forcibly, in order to win back the women’s vote. Of course, if he did that he’d lose the base. Romney has a decision to make and silence isn’t an option. Although, I’m not sure what options are left to him since only a fool would believe he meant a word he said.