Next president needs women’s vote to win
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 03:04
For weeks now, operatives from both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama’s campaigns have been waging a war over women’s votes because they realize that a woman’s vote is a winning vote.
Here’s why: First, according to the Washington Post, women make up 52 percent of the U.S. electorate. Based on 2010 U.S. Census data, this November will see anywhere from 7 million to 8 million new women voters, a prized bloc for either presidential candidate.
Women are consistently playing a much larger economic role as well. Women held a majority of non-farm payroll jobs in January 2010, the first time since the U.S. Department of Labor started collecting data in 1964. This workforce includes mothers, too; the 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics Databook on Women in the Labor Force reported that 71.3 percent of mothers with children are working.
The subject of women voters reached a climax with Hilary Rosen’s comments regarding Romney’s wife’s inability to compare herself to the average American woman. A Democratic strategist unaffiliated with Obama’s re-election campaign, Rosen said on CNN that Ann Romney wasn’t qualified to talk about women struggling in the economic downturn because she “hasn’t worked a day in her life” and has “never dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of women in this country are facing.” Her comments sparked a national debate demonstrating to everyone the importance that both the president and Romney have placed on winning the support of women.
Before Republicans start tossing the bouquet, it should be noted that polls show Obama favored over Romney by about a 20 percentage point margin among women, according to the Washington Post. There’s a reason for this. Although Romney and Obama are waging a war over women voters, Republicans have been waging a war on women for years now. These anti-women policies have become ever more evident as we have discussions regarding equal pay, health care and access to birth control.
If you don’t believe that then let’s just take a look at the facts. The first piece of legislation that Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bill that helps women pursue discrimination claims in court by extending the period during which alleged victims can sue their employers. The bill sounds simple enough, but when the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein asked Romney’s aid if he supported the Lilly Ledbetter Act, the response was six seconds of silence followed by an unidentified aid saying, “Sam, we’ll get back to you on that.”
Romney’s response (or lack thereof) resonates with a woman’s access to health care and birth control, too. Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law back in 2010. The health care reform bill offers more preventative care measures for women like access to birth control with no co-pay. It also eliminates the notion of gender being a pre-existing condition and puts an end to gender rating, a practice where women are charged more than men for the same benefit packages. These pro-women concepts are ones that Romney has continuously flopped on, not to mention he intends to repeal the ACA on his first day at the White House if elected. Romney supports the anti-contraception coverage bill too, one that would enable any employer, even those unaffiliated with a religious institution, the ability to not provide health insurance that covers birth control, according to ABC News.
When you look at the facts, it becomes obvious which side of the aisle is looking out for women — not just because an election is coming up, but because they actually care about a woman’s well being and success. I’m a woman, and I’m voting for Obama this year, and I urge all of my sisters in battle to do the same.