Human Events Blog

Obama loses his edge among female voters

The UK Daily Mail surveys the electoral landscape, and finds a good deal of Barack Obama’s slide in the polls coming from the loss of “waitress moms:”

According to a Gallup/USA Today poll of 12 swing states, Romney leads Obama by 12 points among men. But it is his surge among women voters to within one point of Obama that has given him a four-point overall lead that sets him on course to win the White House on November 6th.

The poll, released on the eve of the second presidential debate in Hempstead, New York, marks an apparent end to months of double-digit Obama leads over Romney among women and has plunged Democrats into panic mode.

As the Daily Mail notes, Democrats responded to this poll by attacking Gallup’s methodology, with the sort of fury one normally sees among piranha after a hunk of beef is introduced to their environment.  This comes after weeks of mocking Republicans for daring to question polling methodology.

A great deal of the polling shift comes from “a major surge among women in favorability for Romney since the Denver debate,” as Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told USA Today.  While Obama is still well ahead among women nationwide, it’s down to a dead heat in the swing states, while Romney retains an 8-point lead among male voters.  And Obama’s national edge among women has dwindled to well below the 13-point margin he enjoyed in 2008 against John McCain.

Those “waitress moms,” or blue-collar women, are said to be “the quintessential swing voters in 2012’s close race,” given that they become interested in the election later, and are apparently more open to persuasion.

That makes them integral to the overall dynamic of this campaign, which is really all about an unhappy nation cautiously investigating Mitt Romney, to see if he’s a reasonable replacement for the man they really want to fire.  The Denver debate was an unprecedented earthquake not so much because Romney was particularly good, or Obama particularly bad, although both of those conditions existed.  The tectonic shift in the electorate came from Romney looking plausible, while Obama’s negative campaign ran out of gas.

Look at it this way: a lot of people who aren’t political junkies sampled a bit of the two conventions, especially the marquee 10:00 PM speeches, then largely checked out of the race until the Denver debate, which drew a huge audience.  Imagine the contrast witnessed by a busy, hard-working “waitress mom” who went from the shrill “Romney will leave you to die in the emergency room” tone of the Democrat convention to Romney’s smooth, assured domination of Obama in Denver.  That’s got to be good for a bit of psychic whiplash, especially for someone who ultimately wants to make a pragmatic decision about who is better equipped to give us something better than Obama’s “New Normal” next year.

That’s how Romney pollster Neil Newhouse summed up the polls to USA Today: “The first debate had a significant impact on these voters as they watched it and Governor Romney appeared nothing like the candidate that was essentially a caricature in the advertising by the Obama campaign. It’s these voters who began to realize that the picture being painted of him was not reality.”

Some of the shift in women voters also comes from the rising tide of enthusiasm among Republicans, and the corresponding dismay among Democrats.  Enthusiastic voters are the ones who talk to pollsters.  There have always been plenty of Republican women, and they’re feeling more enthusiastic these days.

And now the major feminist icon of the modern era, Hillary Clinton, is going under the bus to protect Obama from criticism over the Benghazi attack.  That obviously won’t sit well with Hillary’s male and female supporters in the Democrat Party, who weren’t all that happy with Barack Obama to begin with.  And it’s not quite the headline Obama wanted to see, as he watches female voters abandon his campaign.

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