Leading Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney has recognized his campaign has a female problem. So far, he’s not be able to connect with women in a way that will convince them to support his bid for the White House.
As a result, the former Massachusetts governor, who looks to be well on his way to eventually capturing the GOP nomination, is beginning to hone in on women’s issues, mindful that a majority of them favor President Obama, his rival this fall.
The shift in focus can’t come soon enough for a number of Republican leaders and activists. In some recent polls, Obama has gained a significant lead among women voters under 50, especially in critical battleground states where, according to Gallup, he now leads Romney, as well as the other prospective GOP nominees.
“In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney’s support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30 percent. The president leads him 2-1 in this group,” USA Today, which co-sponsored a survey with Gallup, reported last week.
One powerful weapon Romney has in his arsenal: his wife, Ann. Popular and a survivor of MS and cancer, who could relate to women on the economy and jobs, which are their top issues.
Democrats have traditionally dominated such “pocketbook” issues, and this election year is no different. But it’s a gap that Romney is focused on narrowing.
“We have work to do to make sure we take our message to the women of America, so they understand how we’re going to get good jobs and we’re going to have a bright economic future for them and for their kids,” he told supporters last week in Middleton, Wis.
On Friday, Obama was trying to take ownership of the issue himself, sponsoring a White House conference on women and the economy, showcasing his administration’s progress on equal pay and workplace flexibility.
“When we talk about these issues that primarily impact women, we’ve got to realize they are not just women’s issues. They are family issues, they are economic issues, they are growth issues, they are issues about American competitiveness,” he said.
Democratic allies are being more blunt, however, saying Republicans have been waging a “war against women.”
And on Thursday, Obama called on allowing women to become members of the all-male Augusta National, home of the Masters golf tournament. Romney followed suit.
Copyright © 2012 Newsroom America