White House 2012: Women voters push swing states towards Obama
President Obama's huge lead among women voters have helped him surge ahead in polls in swing states over his Republican opponent Mitt Romney.
Most seasoned political observers, including former US President Bill Clinton, regard Florida, Virginia, Ohio and to some extent Pennsylvania as key battleground states for the US presidential elections this November.
Historically, no Republican candidate has won the Presidency without carrying Ohio and barely a month away from the elections, President Obama is leading Mitt Romney by 10 points there. Florida and Virginia are closer but the President has also extended his leads in New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania as well as Michigan.
The spread between the candidates in favour of Obama in some cases, such as Virginia, Florida and Nevada are within the margin of error but in others the leads are substantial.
This is in part because of the key constituency of women where President Obama has opened up a lead of about 18 points on average in national polls. In some states such as Michigan the gender gap is as wide as 20 points in favour of the President.
The Obama campaign has been focused on the Republican’s vulnerability on issues such as birth control, abortion and women’s health and it seems to be paying off. The Democrats have accused the Romney campaign of waging a war on women and the Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan’s staunch pro-life stance has helped them in their cause.
In addition, the President has gone on the offensive in most swing states especially in Ohio. Obama recently made a remark that in his wide travels within the key battleground state he did not meet many “victims” referring to Romney’s gaffe where he portrayed 47% of Americans as victims. He has also dropped the usual niceties in his stump speech about Romney being a nice guy with a nice family.
However, Romney cannot do the same. His primary target is the 10% undecided voters who actually like Obama but are not that impressed with his performance in the White House. Attacking Obama personally would do Romney no favours with these voters. Also while Romney’s economic message resonates with many voters his party’s staunch line on many social issues alienate the more affluent, well educated and usually undecided voters.
Most political observers believe the Presidential debates to be held within the next few days is the last real effort Romeny has to catch up to President Obama.