Entries in Women Voters (7)


Obama to Stoke ‘War on Women’ Debate in Colorado

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(DENVER) -- President Obama kicks off a two-day campaign swing through Colorado on Wednesday by stoking a debate over an alleged Republican war on women.

At his first stop in Denver, Obama will thrust the issue of women’s health care back to the center stage in the presidential race, casting rival Mitt Romney as out of touch with female voters and eager to “turn back the clock on decades of progress,” according to his campaign.

The president will emphasize provisions in his controversial health care law that benefit women, including the requirement that insurance companies cover a host of preventive health care services, such as contraception and breast cancer screenings, free of charge.  Romney has said he would repeal the law and the expanded coverage rules, which took effect for the first time last week.

Obama will get some help making his case from Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law School graduate turned women’s rights activist, who earlier this year was publicly ridiculed by conservative radio talk host Rush Limbaugh for defending the contraception provisions in the health law.  She will introduce the president, the campaign said.

The joint appearance of Obama and Fluke on stage comes in the midst of an aggressive attack on Romney both online and on TV over his opposition to Planned Parenthood.

In a new Obama campaign TV ad, released Saturday in Colorado and six other battlegrounds, Romney is portrayed as “extreme” for his views and unable to “even understand the mindset of someone who has to go to Planned Parenthood.”

“I think Romney would definitely drag us back,” one woman in the ad says.  Romney has pledged to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood clinics, which provide lower-income women with health care services, including contraception and abortion.

A Web video released in conjunction with Obama’s trip to Denver features actress Elizabeth Banks discussing her personal experience with Planned Parenthood and explaining what she believes Romney does not understand about the organization.

“Yes I got birth control, but it was for my massive migraine headaches and my heavy flow.  Yeah, I’m on record saying I had a heavy flow,” Banks says.  “And unfortunately these are not the types of things I want to discuss with my employer… They’re between me and my doctor; and at the time my doctor happened to be with Planned Parenthood.”

But while Obama seeks to make women’s health a focus of the Colorado race, Republicans said they were determined to keep their sights on the economy.

“At the end of the day in Colorado, the selection is going to come down to the economy and whether or not the president fulfilled the mission in regard to jobs, the debt, the deficit,” said Republican Rep. Cory Gardener of Colorado on a conference call Tuesday with reporters.

“The president ran at a time when the people wanted answers on the economy.  He ran on the economy.  He ran on the idea that he would fix the economy and everything has gotten worse so to me, that is what the election is going to come down to in Colorado and states like Colorado and all across America,” he said.

Obama leads Romney among women in the latest national Gallup polling, based on a three-week rolling average, 50 to 42 percent.  Romney holds the edge among men, 49 to 42 percent.

In addition to Denver, Obama will visit Grand Junction, Pueblo and Colorado Springs for events aimed at mobilizing voters in support of his bid for a second term.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Campaign: CBS/NYT Poll "Significantly Biased"

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama campaign is on the offensive against the findings of a New York Times/CBS News poll, which shows Romney up among women and two-thirds saying Obama's marriage shift was politically motivated.

Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter on Tuesday repeatedly blasted the methodology as "significantly biased."

"We can't put the methodology of that poll aside because the methodology was significantly biased. It is a biased sample," she said on MSNBC. "They sampled a biased sample, so they re-biased the same sample. So I think that the results of that poll are pretty odd."

Monday night, Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt called the methodology "weird."

"Aside from being outlier, CBS/NYT poll used weird methodology -- same voters as last month, reached fewer of them, more IDed as GOP," he tweeted.

"Latest CNN poll showed @BarackObama up 16 among women. State polls show big advantage among women. Be wary of any poll that doesn't," he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Surpasses Romney in Swing States

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A majority of registered voters across 12 swing states for the first time backs President Obama over likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney for the November election, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll.

Obama leads Romney by a 51 to 42 percent margin, the poll found.  In February, the president trailed Romney in the swing state match-up, 46 to 48 percent.  The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4 points.

The shifting tide of support in Obama’s favor was driven by women under 50, fewer than half of whom supported the president in a February USA Today/Gallup poll, but swung significantly the other way last month.

More than 60 percent of women under 50 said they prefer Obama, according to the poll. Romney nets just 30 percent support, down 14 points from a month earlier.

Among women overall, Obama holds an 18-point lead over Romney.  The former governor carries men by a single point.

Democrats have traditionally held an edge among women voters, with Democratic presidential candidates carrying the key demographic by more than 10 points in the last few general elections.  But the gender gap appears for now to be greater than it was during the 2008 election, when Obama won women voters by 12 points over Sen. John McCain.

The USA Today/Gallup swing state survey, conducted March 20-26, covered Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Santorum Focuses on Reaching Out to Women

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.) -- Before Tuesday's race had been called in Mitt Romney's favor, Rick Santorum gave an address in Michigan during the state's primary night that focused on the mistakes he has made over the past week.

“A month ago they didn’t know who we are, but they do now,” Santorum said, flanked by his wife, eldest daughter Elizabeth, and son John.  ”We came to the backyard of one of my opponents, in a race where people said, ‘You know, just ignore it, you’re going to have no chance here.’  And the people of Michigan looked into the hearts of the candidates, and all I have to say is, ‘I love you back.’”

The crowd was enthusiastic, with one man shouting, “I love you,” but there was a sad tone in the air that began even before Santorum and his family took the stage, as the theme song to The Natural played.

Santorum mentioned his 93-year-old mother, something he hasn’t in previous speeches, and he told the audience in what seemed to be a pitch to female voters who might feel put off by some of his previous comments about women in the workplace, that his mother made more money than his father.

“She was someone who did get a job in the 1930s and was a nurse, and worked full time.  She continued to work through my childhood years,” Santorum said to the crowd that was heavy on families with young children.  “She balanced time working different schedules.  A professional who made more money than her husband.”

Santorum’s mother was a nurse and his father was a psychologist for the Veteran’s Administration.

The former Pennsylvania senator also touted his wife’s work experience, saying she was a “professional” as well, and thanked his daughter, Elizabeth, who has been on the campaign trail with him since the early days in Iowa.

“[Karen] worked as a nurse, but after we got married, she decided to walk away, yet didn’t quit working.  She was a mother and also wrote two books,” Santorum said.

He spent most of his speech repeating the themes he does on the stump, including his mention of the Declaration of Independence, but Tuesday evening there was a twist on that too.

“The men and women who signed that declaration wrote the final phrase, ‘We pledge to each other our lives, our fortune, and our sacred honor,” Santorum said.

There were no women who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Longtime Santorum strategist John Brabender said it wasn’t a direct appeal, but more about mentioning and thanking other people in the candidate’s life besides his grandfather, who Santorum consistently talks about on the trail.  Brabender did acknowledge they have to “struggle with misperceptions” and said that is “something we will always be doing.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Women’s Voting Expert Sees Last-Minute ‘Dramatic Shift’ Toward Democrats 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Women are beginning to “make up their minds” about the candidates they will cast their ballots for on Election Day and that may be a good thing for Democrats, an expert on women’s voting trends said on Friday.

Page Gardner, founder of the group, “Women's Voices. Women Vote,” told ABC News Friday that recent tracking polls indicate unmarried women “now are performing at about the same levels that they were in 2008, in terms of coming back to progressive Democrats.”

Gardner’s nonpartisan organization is dedicated to engaging unmarried women in the political process.

She said that this demographic group, in particular, has felt the pain of the country’s economic downturn, which has led to diminished support for Democratic candidates.  Gardner said she is seeing a “dramatic shift in the past few days” among unmarried women voters.

Like so many Americans, the top issue on their minds, Gardner said, is the economy.  Reproductive rights also ranks high on the list despite the fact that the many prominent women Tea Party candidates on ballots across the country this year do not support abortion.

“I think they’re tapping into the frustration and the anger,” Gardner said.  “And I think these people’s lives are very stretched, and they’re tired of it. And they’re tired of being unemployed, and they’re tired of having two jobs, or three jobs to support their kids. “

It could still be a tough year for Democrats among women overall.  A Pew Research Center survey out this week found that 49 percent of likely women voters planned to support Republican candidates compared to 43 percent who said they would support Democrats.

Another trend Gardner is watching is the likelihood that after Nov. 2 there will be more GOP women and fewer Democratic women in the next Congress.

“I think the policies will change,” Gardner predicted. “I think you’ll see Congress having a hard time re-passing paycheck fairness and things that would really help women.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


President Obama Tries to Gain Women's Votes for Democrats

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(SEATTLE) -- In the pumpkin-festooned backyard of the Foss family Thursday, President Obama pushed the argument that his administration and Democrats generally are better for women and the economy.

"Women have made such enormous strides that they now constitute half of the workforce," he said, clearly mindful that Democrats need to improve their standing with women voters in the pending midterm elections.

Women voters normally vote in greater numbers for Democrats, but the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll shows women divided almost evenly in the generic ballot, with 47 percent favoring the Democrat, 44 percent for the Republican.  Four years ago, women favored Democrats by 12 percentage points in the midterm elections.

After the event in the Foss family backyard, a reporter asked the president if he can help with these women voters.

"Absolutely," he said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


President Obama, Democrats, Struggling With Women Voters

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Women voters are 10 points more likely than men to be Democrats, but the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll of generic congressional candidates had women voters only narrowly breaking for the Democrats, 47 percent to 44 percent.  As a result, the president is reaching out to women.

“I’m thrilled to be here tonight with some of the most brilliant, most accomplished, most influential women in this country,” the president said while speaking to female business leader Tuesday night.  “As Michelle Obama's husband, I feel very much at home.”
During his speech, the presidential seal fell off.  The president joked, “All of you know who I am.”

But the White House worries some female voters may have forgotten, and the president needs those women in order to hold the House and Senate.  It’s one of the reasons why the president is talking so much about education as midterm elections approach.

Next week, the first lady will start a six-state fundraising swing, including "an evening on Broadway" with two female icons, Sarah Jessica Parker and Patti Labelle.  Dr. Jill Biden and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett will be talking about education and pay equity and chatting on ABC's The View.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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