Women (51 percent) expressed stronger approval of Obama’s job performance than men (38 percent). Likewise, men (57 percent) disapprove of his job performance compared to women (40 percent).
That result of the Elon University Poll probably isn’t a surprise. President Obama won the female vote nationally in 2008, and women are a key constituency if he wants to win re-election. As the Republicans talk about contraception and birth control, they risk losing the female vote.
“Republicans are making a big mistake with this contraception talk, and I’m pretty sure that they are giving (the election) to Obama,” says Patricia Speyerer, 87, of McComb, Miss., a GOP-leaning independent. “It’s a stupid thing.”
That’s not all. An Associated Press-GfK poll suggests women also are giving the president more credit than men are for the country’s economic turnaround.
That’s all well and good nationally. But in North Carolina, it’s not nearly as clear cut. Women approve of how Obama is handling the economy, but only by 49 percent to 45 percent that disapprove. (Men are clear in their preference: 58 percent disapprove to 36 percent that approve.) A little weakening in the economy — the market starting to skid, gas prices continuing to rise or an upward blip in unemployment — and Obama could easily lose the female vote and with it North Carolina.
That softness of support is an opportunity for the Republican candidate.
My guess, though, is that this kind of statement, made by the president today, resonates with a lot of women: Women are going to make up their own minds in this election about who is advancing the issues they care most deeply about. One of the things I’ve learned being married to Michelle is I don’t need to tell her what it is she thinks is important, and there are millions of strong women around the country who are going to make their own determination about a whole range of issues.
— John Robinson