Women Voters Key for Obama's Re-election

The First Lady's speech highlights how, in a 50-50 nation, the narrative that wins this fight may win the White House.

CHARLOTTE, NC — President Obama "believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care,” first lady Michelle Obama said during her Tuesday speech to the Democratic National Convention. "That's what my husband stands for."

It was a continuation of a consistent message from women at all levels of the Democratic party: this election is about the government’s right to control your body. 

Earlier that day, just a few blocks away from where Mrs. Obama spoke, Gov. Nikki Haley made the Republican pitch.  

“Let me tell you about women. Women are extremely smart,” the first female governor of South Carolina said. “They care about a lot more than contraception.”

Those two arguments—that the 2012 presidential election is about women’s rights, and that women’s rights are a distraction from economic factors that affect American families—have been made again and again by supporters at every level in Charlotte this week and in Tampa last week. Much has been said about 2012 being a grand debate over the federal budget, but in a 50-50 nation, the narrative that wins this fight may win the White House.

Delegates in Lockstep

Women delegates in Charlotte and Tampa, who are more often than not leaders in their hometowns, are consistent in their messaging.

“This war on women is absolutely phony,” said RNC delegate from Connecticut Pat Longo last week. “It’s strictly to distract from issues of debt, deficit, and spending.”

“Wisconsin women need to realize that we need to worry about what's going on for our kids and our grandkids,” said Patty Reiman,

On the streets of Uptown Charlotte, female physiology is front and center: Planned Parenthood supporters wear pink shirts everywhere, and Austin delegate Heather Ross went so far as to walk the streets of Charlotte with a pink felt “uterus” stitched into her ballcap.

Asked what American women need from this election, delegate Grace Carrington from Coral Springs, Md. said, “Let us make our decisions for our bodies. Period.”

Miami Democratic Delegate Bonnie Weiner stressed that the most important issue for her was that, “We could have our most basic and important rights taken from us.”

The Diminishing Number of Undecided Women

ABC News released a poll on Tuesday suggesting Republicans were cutting into Obama’s advantage among women. Michelle Obama's speech, stressing that "at the end of the day, my most important title is still 'mom-in-chief'" was no doubt designed to make up some of that lost ground.

But regardless of the affect of last night's speech, the army of businesswomen, moms and sisters on either side may continue to sway voters back and forth for the next 60 days.

As voting women pick sides, the best remaining opportunities may lie with women like Connecticut Representative Terrie Wood.

“I firmly believe social issues should be left to the individual and not to the government to decide,” Wood told a Patch editor in Tampa.

“I find a lot of women in our community register as Democrats because they’re pro-choice and they support gay rights. Well, most of us [conservative women in Connecticut] do too.”

Wood is a Republican delegate and a firm Romney supporter. The question is how women who share her conflicted feelings will vote.

Jennifer September 07, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I believe it goes farther... all the way back to Carter... Carter set it up, Clinton continued it, Bush had zero choice... I think he was busy fighting a war and protecting our country. Any rate, when I bought my first home interest rate was 5.25. Could have been less if we went for an arm or paid PMI. NO WAY!!! Would only pay what I could afford, avoided get rich quick nonsense and guess what? MADE money when I sold that house! Then again credit was good, I don't believe in something for nothing etc. etc. Fiscally conservative to the core here!
Jennifer September 07, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Love differeing opinions, however facts are facts. Please do your research. Hide behind the internet all you want, just know that facts are not open to interpretation.
Brad September 07, 2012 at 07:17 PM
the problem is with the people. It isnt complicated. Work hard, save at least 10% of your money in the bank, put at least 10% into your 401K, you dont buy a house unless you can put at least 20% down in cash, and you live below your means. Dont buy any new cars, dont eat out more than once a week, and have at least a 6 month cash reserve to pay all your bills. And only have kids once you are married and can afford them, which is probably about $50K income per child. If everyone did that, we would all be fine... But most dont want to work hard, dont want to save, dont want delayed gratification.... they just want handouts and give me's..
joanne hummert September 07, 2012 at 07:19 PM
There are not enough people with millions to sustain this country ~ everything is still on the back of the middle class majority. Politicians say what people want to hear and when elected, do what they want to do anyway.
Andy Pat September 07, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I too wish Clinton had not signed the repeal of Glass-Stegall (with the help of a Repub Congress). I actually thought derivitives pre-dated the G-S repeal, but please correct me if I am wrong. Either way I guess we need more regulation of banking and these exotic debt instruments. Sometimes these things called derivitives and CDOs( collateral debt obligations) remind me of the designer drug market. The people who design both are in a whack-a-mole race with the law. Outlaw one and they will come up with another. And while a select group of "business men" walk off with their blood money, the rest of society gets the shaft.
Mac September 07, 2012 at 07:46 PM
I’ll give you 4. First, no one knows who he is and with less than 60 days left before the election they truly don’t care. After two plus years of pointless political debate that has established that no one has a better path than we are already undertaking, the people just want this election over with period. Second, realistically envisioning the demise of the IRS with the current shape the global economy falls more in line with a vacation trip to Fantasyland at Disneyworld. Like it or not, freedom has a price and it costs a lot more than the needs of a state of tumbleweeds that still seems more like an outpost in the Old West. Third, Romney may possess the intelligence W can’t even dream about, but Romney makes W look like a liberal, and I can no longer afford the leadership of the far, far right. I am more interested in seeing the current path develop more than returning to the path of unprincipled fanatics, and a protest vote this late in the game is a copout. Stand up and deal with the reality of this two-man election choice. And fourth, on a more personal note, I’m not ready to forgive the leadership of my party for holding the entire country hostage for four years just to neutralize any attempt by our current President to successfully lead our country, especially when their reverenced inspiration is nothing more than another Bob Dole.
Ric September 07, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Concerned, thanks for responding. We agree that Romney surely will wage war on Iran for Israel's behalf. Now let me ask why are Israel's problems also our problems? Please, do not rehash the old they are the only friend we have in the Middle East because that is not true. Besides, friends do not spy on friends like Israel has done to us. Disregarding the spying, it is not in America’s interest to war beside Israel against Iran. Nor is it our interest to shed the blood of America soldiers for Israel. That is just morally wrong. Yes, Israel has a legitimate fear about Iran obtaining nukes. But Iran has just as a legitimate fear about Israel's existing 1000 nukes already in her arsenal. Let Iran and Israel sort it out on their own. As far as North Korea, China does not have them in check. If they did, half the stuff Korea recently (like missile tests) would not have occurred. The bottom line is we are broke from Dubya’s two wars and cannot afford the more wars that Romney will get us in.
Brad September 07, 2012 at 08:32 PM
There is another HUGE LIE curtosy of Ric, we are broke because of Clinton's failed plicies with GS and the housing affordability act which is the mean cause of the recession, and the $6Trillion in Debt from Obama. This blame Bush stuff is just more sheep following the party line of trying to dstract voters from the facts and just blame Bush, that is their montra, and only a moron would really buy that, but sadly many do. Blame Bush BAAAAAAAAAAAAAH I have no brain.... BAAAAAAAAAH
Concerned September 07, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Andy, well stated and finally we agree that this mess was caused by both parties. Derivatives were around but banks could not trade or invest depository funds in high risk investments. Clinton' repeal changes that.
Concerned September 07, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Ric, Israel having nukes is a far different scenario that Iran having Nukes. Iran is a Muslim Theocracy with a very different view of the world and freedoms, women's rights, and Israel's right to exist. Thank for your honest answer and it is an unusual trend in the democratic party to feel as if our commitment to Israel is optional. This shift will have a profound effect on this election.
Common Sense September 07, 2012 at 08:43 PM
mac- 1-the fact that no one knows who he is, is not a reason obama is a better choice, it just means people dont do research or listen to real new- just opinions from fox news and liberal media. every election we are left to pick between 2 corrupted individuals. 2- you are right freedom is not free however hes not saying get rid of all taxes, he just offers a fairer/ better option: http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer?pagename=HowFairTaxWorks 3-obama / dems had complete control for his first 2 years- did you see any big changes? did we have shovel ready jobs, is college tuition cheaper, is governtment more transparent? 4- say what you want about new mexico, johnsons track record speaks for itself. did a much better job than romney did as governer of tax-achsetts and better than obama as governer of... o i mena community organizer of the most corrupt city in america. sorry dan your response did not give any reason why obama is a better choice for president, all you did was point out the flaws in out system and why we are stuck with crappy choices
Common Sense September 07, 2012 at 08:49 PM
im a man of principal mac, i will vote for the person who is most deserving of the job no matter what party, race, or religion he belongs to. to me voting for the lesser of two evils is a copout.
marylou September 07, 2012 at 09:09 PM
John,you're gettung nuttier every time you post a comment.How on earth is the pastor of any church going to know who in their church,if anyone,owns firearms. I don;t know anyone who talks policitics with his or her pastor,either.t's not the type on information that most people share with their pastors. Run and hide,they guys with the white coats are coming.
Belleville Sentinel September 07, 2012 at 09:37 PM
So the fact that President Obama was the first African-American to become editor of the Harvard Law Review, an honor generally bestowed upon that member of a Harvard Law School class who is deemed to be the best of his/her class based on grades and a writing competition, has no bearing on his qualifications and competency in your opinion to have been a student at the world's most prestigious law school? And by that token, Antonin Scalia, who was also editor of the Review should immediately resign from SCOTUS?
Belleville Sentinel September 07, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Donna - this is another example of how people play fast and loose with the facts. While you are correct that gas prices were about $1.60-$1.70 per gallon when President Obama was inaugurated Jan. 2009, you conveniently do not mention that as of September 2008 they were averaging about $4.10 per gallon. The sharp decline during the last 4 months of 2008 was due to the global economic meltdown and the need for Wall Street speculators to dump their reserves asap. http://gasbuddy.com/gb_retail_price_chart.aspx It is analysis and condemnation like this of President Obama that is the yellow journalism hallmark of the Faux Noise Channel.
Laura September 07, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Donna sweetie, How many times do I have to say this. I've never been on welfare or received food stamps. I own my home and cars outright. I pay for my own health insurance. I am employed. I work hard and I'm not stupid as some on here seem to be. Romney has no clue how the middle class lives. He isn't in the middle class. Bain Capital's main objective has never been to create jobs. It was and is to create wealth for it's investors and partners. He doesn't have a clue how to create jobs. AND he is a chickenhawk. Read the political definition for Chickenhawk. I believe Ryan is also.
Laura September 07, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Stig, If you are only qualified for a job flipping burgers, whose problem is that? As the Republicans want to abolish unions, you'll be finding a lot more of those minimum wage jobs. While I think that all union bosses are corrupt, unions originated to protect the workers from unscrupulous employers. Does the term Sweatshop mean anything to you bozos? Those real jobs you are talking about are created by businesses not the public sector. So you would rather have 900,000 losing jobs?
Laura September 07, 2012 at 10:34 PM
and Tax cuts for the wealthy doesn't pay down the debt either. You do know what a depression is don't you? It doesn't sound like you do.
J September 07, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Agree with the text or not, but you have to admit, "the rest..." is an inspired user name.
Laura September 07, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Melanie, Medicare, medicaid, SS and the military need cuts and changes. I always find it amazing how those that complain the most about the economy never want to touch the military, especially if they are in it and on the dole. The days of the US being John Wayne and riding in with the cavalry is over. We can't afford it. AND we cannot bring democracy to countries that are still living in the middle ages.
Laura September 07, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Long time resident, You sound more like a member of the old white men's party than an Independent. Just saying.
Allah September 07, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Allah September 08, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Open your eyes and ears, and believe what you see and hear. You don't have to decipher anything, the man is telling you exactly what he is. Take off the blinders and take out the earplugs, and just watch and listen. There is not thing to dispute, nothing to debate. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=tCAffMSWSzY#t=28
Allah September 08, 2012 at 12:14 AM
"You're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about MY Muslim Faith". A direct quote from Obama. What don't some Americans understand? He slips so many times, yet his "followers" continue to only hear what they want to hear. I don't get it.
Ric September 08, 2012 at 12:19 AM
@Concerned, an Israeli Jewish nuke would be at least as lethal as an Iranian Islamic nuke. Honestly neither nation should have even one. But Israel built them despite her promises to us so Iran in turn has to protect herself. We need to bail out now. You are aware that at least twice in the last century Israel attacked her neighbors while a state of peace existed. 1956 & 1967. In 1967 Israel even slaughtered American sailors on board the USS Liberty. Click link http://www.ussliberty.org/report/report.htm After you read the report, please assure me that Israel is our friend. No one, Jew or Muslim is our friend in the Middle East. They have been killing each other for many of thousands of years and will do so for many thousands more. Killing each other almost seems to be in their genetic makeup. Please, do not refer to me as a democrat. I support Obama because I do not want to return to the wars of Dubya & Cheney because they are bad for business.I am or was a moderate (Nixonian) republican. I guess now I am a man without a political party until the far right gets booted out.
Ric September 08, 2012 at 12:27 AM
@Faux Allah. My mother was a Roman Catholic from a family of many generations of Roman Catholics. My father was a Baptist from a family of many generations of Baptists. Yet, I am neither a Roman Catholic nor a Baptist, I am a Presbyterian. Get a clue; they are on sale at Wal-Mart. It does not matter what a person's parent’s beliefs were. That does not wash down with the genes.
Ric September 08, 2012 at 12:33 AM
@Faux Allah. Besides Mitt is a Mormon. I trust them even less than I trust Muslims which I do not trust at all.
Deleted because of harassment September 08, 2012 at 02:08 AM
I read the comments here, and I wonder how many of you remember Rush's comments on the day of the Inaugeration that he wanted the President to fail. That has been the mantra for the extremists that have tried to take over the country - the one we ALL belong to - for the past four years. I am a woman who is sick and tired of anyone's "beliefs" dictating to me what I can and can not do to my reproductive organs, at the same time denying me the legal right to equal pay for equal work, to protect myself from acts of violence by strangers out of some hysterical belief that rape does not impregnate women, and that somehow the woman so violated will come to accept the product of that violent act. There is a war on woman, and it's nothing new. Just try being a woman who wants to keep her own name once married, who wants to get the hell out of the pink collar ghetto in the work place and not have a job that starts with filing papers or taking someone's words, or answering the telephone. Try getting a job as a mechanic, or paying for the birth control or childcare you need to be supporting yourself. And if you are so dumb as to believe that the daughter-in-law of the president of American Motors lived in a basement appartment with an ironing board for a table...well, please stay home and watch "Fox and Friends" for the results. You won't be missed at the polls, which are for people with functional minds who don't believe in every bit of crap you hear on the internet.
Allah September 08, 2012 at 02:42 AM
@ Ric, and the rest of the blind followers, did you even watch the video? They are his words, HIS faith. You people are so stupid, you can't even believe your own eyes and ears. Fortunately I am using a fake name, duh Ric (faux)? I guess that means I'm not the real one? I voted for the guy, and at least I am willing to say, I made a mistake. And DBofH, do you understand Muslim beliefs about women? You might want to read up if Obama wins.
Joanne Smythe September 08, 2012 at 02:55 AM
So much hostility and bitterness -- talk about "extremist." Women who don't whine, but rather DO: Carly Fiorina (HP), Marissa Mayer (Yahoo), Meg Whitman (HP), Virginia Rometty (IBM), Patricia Woertz (ADM), Indra Nooyi (Pepsico), Irene Rosenfeld (Kraft Foods), Ellen Kullman (DuPont), Carol Meyrowitz (TJ Maxx), Ursula Burns (Xerox), Denise Morrison (Campbell), Gracia Martore (Gannett).


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