The time from Hurricane Isaac to Hurricane Sandy represents an eternity, particularly in politics. For our sixteen year-old twins, the month of August signaled a birthday, a new grade, later curfews, and changes in their driving permits. For those in my office with the Palladian View, it was planning for and implementing Her New View’s launch at the Republican National Convention and building the outreach for Conservative Republican women across the United States. For Governor Mitt Romney, it was securing the nomination then quickly broadening message to attract the undecided voters.
Watching recent polls, the unprecedented trajectory of support for the Romney-Ryan ticket by women voters is yet another example of the difference two months makes in politics...
During the month of August, the gap between women supporting President Obama versus those supporting Governor Romney was over 20 points. Headlines everywhere said the GOP was waging a War on Women and that Republican policies affecting women’s health care choices diminished their reproductive rights. The Democrats insisted that the Democratic Party was the Party of Women. Their argument, hollow with justifications, has since dissolved, as a steady transition of women indicate that they will be voting for the Romney-Ryan ticket.
In late August, the contention that there is a war on women was pulling at the threads; now it has completely unraveled.
In multiple national polls, the Romney-Ryan ticket captured the momentum necessary to win the election—a surprise to many. There is a coalescing amongst women which has led to insurmountable gains in donations, grassroots efforts, and early voting for the Republican Party. Yet of the many changes that have developed after the first debate…the disparity between women voting for President Obama over Governor Romney has evaporated.
The media, analysts, and the Democratic Party are realizing that “women’s issues” do not solely define how a woman votes. Sharon Day, the Co-Chair of the RNC and a Palladian View pillar, said in September “the real issues that are important to women are the same things that are important to men: And that’s jobs. That’s the economy. That’s a roof over our heads. That’s a great education for our children, the best possible out there. National security, a nation that is secure. Those are women’s issues, and those are men’s issues. And those are every American’s issues.”
Succinctly put, we, women, will vote on all the issues—with a heavy lean this year towards the candidate who will rally the economy.
Under President Obama, 23 million women are in poverty. As more women take a moment to examine both platforms between the boardroom and the home, we anticipate the Romney-Ryan ticket gaining even more traction. Women delivered Virginia to President Obama in 2008; women also delivered Ohio with 56% of them casting a ballot for the now President. With Governor Romney’s pragmatic plan for policies that facilitate business growth and a solid energy development plan, expect women in these states to choose a different candidate this election—votes that will ultimately lead to a one-term president.
Studies and trends indicate that women voters tend to make their decision later in the campaign. Likely a result of women ensconced in careers, family, and a multitude of other demands, they are out of time and now are focusing on the critical decision ahead. Women are asking, “all right, what are each of you offering?” It is no surprise then that in these closing weeks the Romney-Ryan ticket has seen gains amongst this voting bloc. A piece in USA Today this week noted Governor Romney “has growing enthusiasm among women to thank” for his lead over President Obama in recent polling of battleground states.
With women making over 90% of all household economic decisions, increases in the cost of living over the past four years coupled with stagnant paychecks has not gone unnoticed. Firmly put, women know how to comparison-shop; we can instinctively put options side by side and ask, analyze and decide which is the best product at the best cost.
Women are THE swing voters that will determine the outcome of the 2012 election. Mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters all share this responsibility. In this season of hurricanes one must ask, should we stay the storm and continue the path espoused by President Obama or should we seek higher ground as Governor Romney has offered in his five point plan to secure the future of our children and generations to come?
Karen Floyd, former chairwoman of the South Carolina Republican Party, is CEO of The Palladian Group and publisher of Palladian View, a digital magazine for the conservative Republican woman.