Suddenly, Election 2012 Is All About Women

Romney tries to close the gap with crucial demographic
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2012 7:55 AM CDT

Women have surged to the forefront of the presidential race in the wake of Tuesday's debate, with both candidates furiously courting the demographic. Both candidates talked about women on the campaign trail—as did their surrogates—and the Romney campaign released a new ad shedding a more moderate light on his abortion stance. Elsewhere on the trail:

  • "What I can't understand is how (Romney) has gotten in this sort of 1950s time warp in terms of women," Joe Biden told a crowd in Colorado, referring to Romney's debate performance, in which he said women workers often had to rush home to make dinner for their kids, CNN reports, though it notes that Romney's comments scored well with women on the network's dial test.
  • Romney and his surrogates, meanwhile, tried to court women by focusing on the economy. "The No. 1 issue with women is jobs," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn.
  • But the LA Times points out that polls in 12 swing states show abortion is the No. 1 issue with women, ranking it twice as important as jobs.
  • Romney strategists tell the New York Times that their focus groups showed the same thing, which is why they've released a new ad in which a woman discovers that Romney "doesn't oppose contraception at all" and supports abortion in cases of rape, incest, and when the health of the mother is at stake. "This issue is important to me, but I'm more concerned about the debt our children could be left with," she says.
  • Meanwhile, the fallout from Romney's "binders" comment continues. The Boston Globe reported that during Romney's Bain tenure, the firm didn't have a single female partner—though the Washington Post notes that Meg Whitman did get her start there as a consultant.
(Read more women's issues stories.)

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