The results of last week’s CBS poll, which claimed likely Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney had suddenly surged ahead of President Barack Obama when it came to women voters, had some pundits scratching their heads. Others, however, declared that meant the Republican “War on Women” could be dismissed — there was no such thing, and if there was, Romney had obviously overcome it.
So, do women suddenly prefer Romney to Obama? Probably not. Analysis from Robert J. Vickers at the Patriot News likely hits the nail on the head — women are feeling better about Romney simply because he’s no longer trying to be as anti-women as the rest of the GOP field. “[I]t’s more likely that Romney’s numbers have improved among women since nearly all of his competition has withdrawn from the GOP nomination race,” writes Vickers. “‘What you’re seeing nationally is Republican females coming back on board with Romney now that he’s the nominee,’ said Jim Lee, president of Susquehanna Polling & Research.”
The idea is that now that Romney has the pesky nomination under his belt, he can stop touting “social values” necessary to win over the GOP, and focus instead on the economy. It’s a gambit that’s likely to work. The latest ABC/Washington Post polling shows that the gender gap in their polls have narrowed as well, and Romney has taken a nearly 20 point gap and changed it into a 7 percent one.
Can Romney speak to women on an economic footing? So far, the GOP is having a hard time fine tuning their message to women under the age of 50, possibly because they realize how poor their stances are on reproductive health, health care, education and equal pay. At this point “cut the taxes and the debt” doesn’t entirely ring with the majority of women of America.
But if they ever can figure out the right message, and the social conservatives could learn to bite their tongues, women could be won over. They just need to remember it isn’t the end of the war, just likely a ceasefire.
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