Every election cycle we hear that if all women banded together, they could decide the race themselves. Yet every year, the women vote still seems to be the most ignored voting block out there.
Not so when it comes to the 2012 presidential race. With Republicans waging an all out war on women via anti-women legislation like abortion bans, birth control defunding, repealing health care reform and cutting social safety net programs, it’s no wonder that Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney is seeing a huge gender gap in his polling numbers.
To regain some footing, he’s using his wife Ann to try and win women back to the GOP. The Boston Globe writes “Ann Romney has been articulating women’s anxieties about the economy, moving beyond her traditional role vouching for her husband’s credentials as a father and family man. ‘Every single woman here said the economy, the debt, and how big the government is getting,’’ Ann Romney told the local ABC affiliate on Thursday in Milwaukee, describing the concerns she heard from women at Miss Katie’s Diner there.”
Romney’s focus on economic issues is one that will play well with the concerns of many women, but there seems to be little attempt to address solutions to the economic problems themselves. The biggest cost in most women’s budgets these days are health care, both for themselves and for their families, as well as ensuring that their families don’t get any larger until they are financially ready to care for another child. Both of these issues are ones that the GOP isn’t just turning a deaf ear to, but actively attempting to make more burdensome for the average woman.
The Obama campaign, meanwhile, is talking up the benefits that health care reform has had on women, and is using surrogates like Gloria Steinem this week to continue to press their victories for women’s economic and reproductive freedom over the last three years. It’s a tact that is playing well to independent women who identify with neither political party, and it’s one that could literally decide the election come November.
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