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Women Roar With Record Support For President Obama
Women have pushed back against the Republican war against their health and reproductive decisions by giving President Obama record levels of support.
The USA Today/Gallup poll shows President Obama with a 49%-45% lead nationally over Mitt Romney, but signs of Obama’s increasing momentum are evident in a poll of 12 swing states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin). Obama leads Romney in the swing states by a 51%-42% margin.
However, women are the driving force behind President Obama’s momentum. Women in the swing states support Obama by a 2-1 margin. Sixty percent of women under age 50 supported the president. Mitt Romney’s support with swing state women under 50 has dropped 14 points in one month. Among all women, Obama leads Romney by 18 points. A recent Pew Research study also showed Obama leading Romney by 20 points with women, 58%-38%. Healthcare was a top issue for women in both polls.
Over the past few months the dominant issue of the 2012 campaign has been the Republican Party’s war on women. From state level transvaginal ultrasound bills to the Republican Party’s attempt to stigmatize and criminalize birth control, which was personified by Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Sandra Fluke, the GOP has launched a full scale attack on women’s rights.
What the war on women has managed to accomplish is a historic level of support for President Obama. Since 1972, no presidential candidate has received 60% of the support of women. The gender gap in this country has been growing for decades, but from 1996-2004; women supported the Democratic nominee at a rate of 54%, 54%, and 51%. Fifty six percent of women supported President Obama in 2008. Obama has gained a net seven points with women since 2008. Most telling is the fact that 43% of women supported John McCain in 2008, but today only 30% of women support Mitt Romney.If Obama maintains his current pace, the support he receives from women will be a record.
The early results of this war have been nothing short of disastrous for Mitt Romney. His decision to pander to the Republican base instead of leading his party and speaking out has cost him mightily with female voters. Romney’s infamous promise to get rid of Planned Parenthood was concrete evidence that Mitt Romney was happy to step to his party’s front lines and lead the attack on women.
From a strategic perspective, Romney doesn’t have the personality and communication skills needed to reverse the negative views that women hold about him. Romney also lacks the strength and moral core required to stand up to those in his own party who are advancing an agenda of misogynistic barbarity. Republicans made a fatal error when they decided to declare war on women. Instead of sitting back and taking it, women have mobilized and are ready to fight for all of our rights.
Republicans mistakenly believed that they could revive the culture wars and divide the nation by targeting women, but the war on women isn’t just a women’s issue. It is a civil rights issue. It is a national issue, and it is an issue that impacts us all. The right underestimated women, and men such as President Obama who are willing to lock arms and stand side by side with them in this battle. Women are rewarding Obama for his support by rallying around him at historic levels.
The Republican Party’s war on women has managed to push females out of the party, and make women more determined than ever to assert their power and reelect President Barack Obama.
Photo: NY Times