What a difference a couple of debates make huh?
Kid Rock summed it up best when he was introducing vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan at a campaign rally in Michigan, “The facts are the facts and we just saw them come to light in the last debate with no outside BS, no biased media involved, no interruptions and negative-political ads every five seconds and, most importantly, no damn teleprompters!”
I think the Obama campaign was expecting the caricature of Mitt Romney that they created in their campaign ads to show up at these debates in October. They got a huge reality check instead.
And it’s showing in the polls. Romney has now extended his lead in key battle ground states such as North Carolina, Florida, and Colorado, and polls are also showing even Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are now in play. Real Clear Politics now shows Romney with his first Electoral College lead of the year.
But when you break it down by demographics, it gets even more interesting.
Among likely voters, Rasmussen is showing Romney leading men by 10 points and leading independents by 9 points. He trails women by 4 points nationally which is a huge improvement for his campaign considering he trailed women by double digits as recently as September. In the swing states, however, Gallup shows Romney is breaking even with likely female voters while maintaining his lead with men and independents.
It’s clearly becoming more evident that as we enter the final lap of this election season, both campaigns will be in an all-out blitz for the undecided women’s vote. It’s all Obama has left at this point as more and more undecided men and independents swing Romney’s way.
The Obama campaign is doing everything it can to keep up the “War on Women” façade using anti-abortion rhetoric, subsidized contraception and equal pay legislation in a desperate hope to win over undecided female voters. This latest MoveOn.org ad featuring actresses Eva Longoria, Scarlett Johansson, and Kerry Washington best illustrates the scare tactics being used by the left:
Meanwhile, the Romney campaign is accentuating his record of advocating women in the workplace by highlighting the fact that his administration actively sought to recruit the best and brightest women Massachusetts had to offer. Of the 20 top positions in the Romney administration, 10 of them were filled by women, including his lieutenant governor and chief of staff – more than any other state in the nation. This ad best illustrates the effort:
And now the left is desperately trying to use this against Romney with these new “binders full of women” memes that’s got more women asking what it’s supposed to mean than anything else. But again, this shows how critical the undecided women’s vote is going to be in these final weeks as well as how much the left is starting to panic.
I always thought one of the most interesting ads targeted towards women came from the Independent Women’s Voice (IWV). IWV is a 501(c)(4) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization for mainstream women and is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF). IWV has a proven track record of effectively developing and delivering messages to independents and women, key blocs of citizens in 2010 and 2012, using ads such as this:
Forbes’ Frank Miniter reports that Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the IWF, finds the so-called “War on Women” to be patronizing. She says, “The Obama campaign is betting they can goose turnout on November 6 for Democrats by claiming the Republicans are waging a ‘War on Women.’ A central part of this claim is that Republicans tend to oppose the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA), a bill the left claims will ensure equal pay for men and women. However, the reality is that this kind of labor regulation will likely hamper the job market for women of all political stripes—unless, of course, they are trial lawyers. By expanding the definition of ‘wage discrimination,’ by making it easier to file class-action lawsuits, and by opening businesses to greater litigation and uncertainty, this legislation would harm men and women.”
As Miniter goes on to describe, “She points out that research conducted for Independent Women’s Voice found that, while the ‘War on Women’ mantra might please liberal Democrats, it actually turns off independents. Unlike standard polls, which ask people if they find an argument convincing, the Independent Women’s Voice did a controlled-message experiment. They surveyed only independents and undecideds.”
Schaeffer says, “We found that 74% of women agree at least somewhat that workplace discrimination is a serious problem; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean they want more government regulation. Respondents exposed to the Democratic argument alone strongly favor the PFA (45%). But support for the bill drops 35-points to 10% when economic issues are also addressed.”
Schaeffer concludes that most female voters are concerned about pocketbook issues – namely national debt, spending, taxes and jobs. She says, “What the alleged ‘War on Women’ narrative reveals is that the left demonizes anyone who questions government. This is how they perpetuate the myth of women as victims in need of government protection. However, it turns out that pitting men and women against each other is neither smart policy nor smart politics. Voters don’t want more gender wars or government regulation. They want an economy that works.”
Should be interesting to see which campaign’s message will end up winning the battle for the women’s vote.