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Ladies, Barack Obama and the Democrats have plans for you! As the Republican primary process drags on and the president's poll numbers fall again, President Obama and the Democratic National Committee see an opportunity to win you over and they're seizing it. New reports indicate that women who consider themselves independent voters or Republicans are becoming disenchanted with the GOP field of candidates, specifically because of the ongoing focus on birth control and women's health care.
One woman who describes herself as an evangelical Christian and an "old school Republican" told The New York Times recently that she thought she'd vote for Mitt Romney until the GOP candidates started focusing on women's reproduction rights. Now she's considering casting her ballot for President Obama, telling the Times, “If they’re going to decide on women’s reproductive issues, I’m not going to vote for any of them. Women’s reproduction is our own business.” That sentiment is a common one. At a recent women's conference, attendees of all political stripes told me that they're frustrated with all the candidates -- the president included -- and aren't sure how they'll vote in the Fall.
That sounds like a political opportunity for whoever can seize it. Not surprisingly, the Democratic Party has launched an all-out effort to persuade women voters that it's the party that has their back. Mailings are going out this week from the Obama campaign to women in battleground states, and groups like Women for Obama and Nurses for Obama are ready to join in the campaign's phone bank efforts to highlight the Affordable Care Act. Plus, the DNC has just launched its Women's Institute, an initiative that DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told iVillage will be promoting 1,000 house parties nationwide, as well as encouraging social media efforts, among other things, to turn out the Democratic women's vote for the president in November.
Of course, Republican candidates are targeting the women's vote as well, with Ann Romney and other high-profile Republican women keeping campaign trail crowds focused on high gas prices and jobless numbers. But if the GOP wants to keep conservative-leaning women in the fold, they may want to step up efforts to convince them that reproductive health issues aren't under attack after all.
So ladies -- politicians are fighting over you and your vote like never before. They may not be sending flowers or chocolates, but the 2012 political dating process has clearly begun.
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You can read more from iVillage iVote Editor and Correspondent Joanne Bamberger at her blog, PunditMom. Joanne is also the author of the Amazon bestseller Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America.