Has Republican nominee Mitt Romney turned on the charm? Something must have happened, since according to new polling, he has taken a huge jump in popularity among women voters.
According to the latest ABC/Washington Post polling, women have suddenly flocked to the GOP candidate, causing his numbers to jump 13 points in just the last few weeks. “All Romney’s gains have come among women – up by 13 percentage points in personal popularity from last month, while Obama’s lost 7 points among women….An ABC/Post poll last week found improvement for Romney in vote preferences among married women. This survey finds that his gains in personal favorability, instead, come predominantly among unmarried women, who saw him uncommonly negatively earlier this spring.”
If Romney is gaining, what has changed? A large portion of the switch could simply be the fact that the Obama campaign has changed the focus of the fight. The same time period that Romney’s standing among women has improved, the Democrats have been hammering the former governor over his tenure at Bain. The attack makes sense empirically — Romney is trying to position himself as better on economic and employment issues, and the Democrats want to show that it isn’t true and define him before he can define himself.
It’s a message that can address the general population, but it also plays into Romney’s desire to focus on the economy as the only real “women’s issue” that matters. These unmarried women that saw him “uncommonly negatively” earlier disliked him because of his rabidly conservative stance he took on issues while trying to win the endorsement — taking away their right to choose, eliminated their health care access, cutting off affordable birth control.
By moving into an attack on Romney’s record on Bain, Obama’s campaign gave Romney exactly what he wanted, a chance to change the subject from his dismal stance on issues that concern women. The longer the focus is on something else, the more women drift away from Obama.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America understands that, and there is no doubt that is the impetus behind their new endorsement and ad campaign. Let’s see if the Obama campaign takes a hint from them.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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