In Gender Gap War, GOP Losing Among Women

New poll shows women voters favor Obama over Romney.

Posted: 04/03/2012 11:39 AM EDT
Health Care, Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Michelle Obama, Birth Control, abortion, Affordable Care Act, 2012 Presidential Election, President Barack Obama, President Obama, Mitt Romney, Politics News, Planned Parenthood

The GOP has some serious girl trouble.


Women voters in key swing states are falling hard for President Obama, and it’s not because of his cheeky grin and surprising ability to croon soulful tunes. A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, trails Obama among women by an eye-turning 18 points, 54 percent to 36 percent.


The gap widens among women under 50, more than 60 percent of whom support Obama, compared to 30 percent who support Romney. This represents a 14-point drop for the former Massachusetts governor since a similar poll was conducted in mid-February.


According to a Democratic National Committee blog, women are turned off by Romney’s various positions, including vows to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade, and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Romney also supports legislation that would allow employers to refuse to provide health care plans to cover contraception.


The poll found that government policies on birth control were at the bottom of women voters’ list of priorities. Their top three concerns are health care, gas prices and unemployment.


Romney pollster Neil Newhouse told USA Today  the gap is more partisan than gender-based, and he predicts it will narrow during a general-election competition that will be more focused on economic issues.


The White House is already pushing the administration's efforts to create economic security for women. Last week at a fundraising event, first lady Michelle Obama reminded attendees that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, or equal-pay law, was the first piece of legislation her husband signed. She also has frequently said he understands women’s issues because he was raised by both a single mother, who sometimes struggled financially, and his grandmother, who hit a glass ceiling at the bank where she worked.


This week the White House will host its Forum on Women in the Economy. In an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Tuesday, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said the forum will give “us an opportunity to take a step back and look at everything that we've been doing, from helping small businesses to combating domestic violence to creating an atmosphere where girls and everyone can get a world-class education, making college affordable — a whole range of ways in which the Obama administration has been there for women and girls.”


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