Latest Presidential Polls: Why Romney Binders Full of Women Gaffe Could Hurt Him


Another debate means that everyone jumps to the polls right after so as to see what the effect is, if any. A Gallup poll conservatives are keen to bring up, probably to Barack Obama's post-debate victory lap, shows Mitt Romney leading by a four point margin 50% to 46% over Obama. However, that poll doesn't include any data after Tuesday's debate, so Romney can probably expect a bit of a slide from that. Rasmussen's daily polls shows Romney leading by one point 49% to 48% over Obama. This is well within the margin of error and still show the two candidates statistically tied.

For all the anticipation we will probably have to wait a week or so to see the debate reflected in the polls. Obama certainly had a better performance than his last debate, and some are saying he won. Although as with all debates, there are ambiguities as to who “wins,” and whether one can really win a debate at all. Debates, it seems, are more about not losing. In waiting for the debate to really “settle” and become reflected in the polls, it's worth going back to the memorable points of the debate, at least for those independent voters who still haven't decided somehow. Those two points are that Obama held his own, and the other is that Romney has binders full of women.

The first is broad and obvious and will have an obvious impact in the polls in that it will staunch Obama's bleeding from his last poor debate performance. Perhaps some thought Obama had just lost his passion, but now believe he was just having an off night.. The real damage for Romney was the entire “binders full of women” fiasco. Before that Romney had been making gains with women voters. But his fumbled and awkward answer in regard to women's issues where he somehow got to stating he had binders full of women is something that people will remember, especially women. They will remember that Obama can certainly relate, as he has two daughters, had a single mom, was raised by his grandmother, and stands for equal pay for women. Meanwhile, Romney went told anecdote about scouring the earth for women to be in his cabinet, and never even spoke of the equal pay issue. This wasn't just awkward phrasing about the tax code or financial regulation. This was regrettable phrasing about something concerning half the electorate that, when put in context, doesn't become any better.

I am not saying women all over are disgusted with this and are changing or reconsidering their vote. I am saying that this is the first big gaffe of the debates and it is going to get a lot of airtime. I am saying that when you show a clear inability to connect with over half the population it doesn't help you in a democracy. I am saying that when combined with his 47% gaffe he is showing that he can't connect to most people in general. I am saying that people may just start to get the feeling there is a little to much business in this businessman.