The Gender Gap Is Hurting Romney, Beyond His Control

  • Share
  • Read Later
CHRISTOPHER MORRIS / VII FOR TIME

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney with his wife Ann Romney on stage at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. on Aug. 28, 2012.

Tampa

It wasn’t just about Mitt. There was a moment in Ann Romney‘s Tuesday night speech which gave that away. In the middle of a riff about how she, and by extension her husband, sympathize with the plight of working class Americans, Romney made a special appeal to women. Times are tough, she said, “and if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men.”

In the convention hall and out on the campaign trail, Ann Romney is vouching for Mitt with women voters. He could use the boost. In a TIME/CNN poll of likely voters released Monday that found close races in Florida and North Carolina, Obama led Romney by 12 points and 10, respectively, among women in those two states. It’s a deficit that has dogged Romney all year, and the problem seems to be getting worse.

Romney wasn’t helped by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin‘s recent comments that women don’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape,” which cast a pall over Republicans’ convention preparations. Akin has since apologized, but his defiant decision to stay in the race after GOP brass pulled their support has kept the issue alive. So too did similar comments from Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith, who on Monday equated pregnancy out of wedlock to rape.

(PHOTOS: On the Trail with Romney)

Countless Republicans have been asked about Akin’s comments, including Romney, who called on Akin to step aside. But the controversy has drawn attention to Republican abortion politics at a time when the party desperately needs to close the gap with women. And it’s not a subject that Romney, who believes abortion should be legal in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is in danger, wants to be talking about. “The Democrats try and make this a political issue every four years, but this is a matter in the courts,” Romney told CBS News recently. “It’s been settled for some time in the courts.”

What’s not settled is how Romney’s views square with others in his party. Although every recent Republican presidential nominee has held the same position as Romney on abortion, the official Republican platform states that abortion should be outlawed without exception. Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, believes the same thing, and sponsored a bill with Akin in 2011 that initially qualified “forcible rape.” Ryan recently said the phrase was “stock language used for lots of different bills, bills I didn’t offer,” and that he supported its removal.

(PHOTOS: The RNC’s Kickoff in Pictures)

The Republican party’s scramble to distance itself from Akin has engendered some resentment among his supporters. “I think the GOP party bosses that are trying to drum him out are creating a bigger split in the party than Todd Akin is,” Missouri delegate John Putnam told Politico. A few Akin campaign stickers have been visible on the convention floor. And Akin’s most prominent defender, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, will address the gathering on Wednesday night.
Huckabee probably won’t mention Akin though. With few exceptions, Republicans in Tampa seem to have sworn an oath of Omerta not to mention him. “I know that the [Democrats like] to talk about a lot of things other than Obama’s economy,” Guy Harrison, executive director of the Nation Republican Congressional Committee, said in a Monday briefing with reporters. “We’re voting on Obama’s economy. Anything that they get on any other issue besides that, they’re just wasting their time.”
Delegates are largely on message, too. “There is no War on Women. It’s a distraction to take it off the economy,” says Carol Del Carlo of Nevada. Akin’s comment “was an unfortunate choice of words,” says Sue Lowden, a former Senate candidate and the vice chair of Maggie’s List, a group that recruits Republican women to run for office. But she insisted the episode wouldn’t reflect poorly on the presidential ticket. “I think that undecided women are going to look at [the candidates] individually.”

Maybe. But it’s hard to sugarcoat Romney’s struggles with women voters. In the end, it’s not just about Mitt.

(PHOTOS: Political Pictures of the Week, Oct. 5–11)

39 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
konservative1
konservative1

  The state of the republican  party is so sad.  Stuck in a bubble of delusional self justification.

Lets observe a few simple facts:

Bush released the terrorist that lead the attack.

Our president got osama.

The extreme right wing has pulled the republican party so close to the edge that they can not win.

Sad but true.

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

Romney = NIXON = CROOK 

 

Swiss Bank Account, Hidden Taxes, Cayman Island Tax Haven. Who does that? CROOKS like MADOFF and ROMNEY. 

 

SAVE the U.S.A., VOTE the DEMOCRATIC TICKET come November!

mscoyote
mscoyote

Romney's problem is that he is running as a republican.  The republican party platform wants to take women back to the stone age.  No birth control, forced pregnancy even if raped or in danger of dying of it, next it will be the vote they want to take back away from us.  Use your vote and get rid of them.

TheGorf
TheGorf

I have no animosity towards Romney, and I voted for Bush II twice.  But the more I see of Mitt, the more credibility I give to those who say he's out of touch with the rest of us.  His wife didn't help with her claim about the basement apartment and their makeshift ironingboard/dining table.  For crying out loud, Mitt's father was the Governor of his state and a very wealthy man.  If Mitt didn't have the smarts to spring for a better apartment and (at the very least) a folding card table to eat on -- he's too out of touch to be put in the White House.

His newest flip/flop about Obamacare doesn't help him either.  And what is it about the GOP and their VP nominees?  Palin drove me so paranoid I voted for Obama, and I hadn't fully recovered when Mitt selected Ryan.  Migawd!  What in the world are the conservative folks to make of that?

Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

Well Boo Hoo to Romney????  With the INSANE and EXTREME pursuit of dismantling women's rights, that Ryan pursued in congress, it is remarkable the gap is not wider than it is. I hope that it widens.

 Since two SCOTUS Justices will definitely be retiring in the next two years, Romney, if elected, would be the one to appoint those new Judges..OMG... that alone, is enough to make most women rush to the polls and reject Romney and Ryan strongly and forcefully!! I will certainly be voting against those two men, RYAN AND ROMNEY STINK.  I will be voting for someone who knows that a woman's reproductive health is related to her economic life, and that person is President Obama.

chrystal026
chrystal026

Women who stand with the Lord,will not Vote(DEMONS)Democrats!!!!

Susan Cornell
Susan Cornell

Neither of our canidates or congress are in touch with reality if they think that middle class makes $250,000 per year! To middle class people of the world, that is considered rich! We would love a government that would listen to the majority of this country instead of the rich and powerful and only care about them. We are the people who have built this country and keep it going day in and day out! When the government has money problems, what is the first thing they demand in budget cuts, cut the money flow to the neediest of them all, our deveolmentally delayed and our elderly. The deveolpmentally delayed are a gift from God to teach us but we have to be willing to learn and we are to RESPECTand CARE for our elderly. Why doesn't our rich congress quit giving themselves raises, cut Social Security to themselves because they are so rich they don't need it, pay more in taxes because they can afford it, stop using our Social Security for illegal aliens who have not earned it, bring our troops back and stop finding the most stupid excuses to deny our soilders the benefits they deserve for fighting for their country!

Jamie Catherine
Jamie Catherine

Access to birth control, access to safe and legal abortions, the right to make their own choices about their health...these things empower women. Without them, more women than ever would be having children they can't afford, would be having children out of wedlock, would be carrying the children of rape to term. Without these things, women would have a decidedly second-class status, eradicating all the progress we have made towards equality. The right to decide exactly when to have children, if ever, allows women to make great strides in the workplace and put themselves on equal social and professional standing with men. Simply put, some members of the Republican party would take away precisely those things that give women the chance at power and equality. They would reverse our progress on women's rights. That's why they fall short with women.

Godzilla1960
Godzilla1960

I see many analysis pieces discussing the GOP's unpopularity with women, but rarely see articles written from the reverse perspective of why the Democrats are unable to attract men to the same extent as Republicans.

David Barry
David Barry

Maybe it's because women are more likely to vote.

MrObvious
MrObvious

DOH! (second time tonight)

Let me see, a party platform that are against women, minorities, homosexuals, youth, elderly, poor, middle class and pretty much anyone that's not in the upper income bracket.

chrystal026
chrystal026

 You mean the Party,who favors Government Hand Outs!!!Also the Platform,who supports Immorality!God have Mercy on these People!

mscoyote
mscoyote

 right, the republican party.  Handouts to corporate america and lies lies lies.

S_Deemer
S_Deemer

Akin’s comment “was an unfortunate choice of words,” says Sue Lowden, a former Senate candidate and the vice chair of Maggie’s List, a group that recruits Republican women to run for office.

Hogwash. Akin used exactly the words he believed were applicable to the situation. This is the standard whitewash, non-apology when a politician is caught saying what he actually believes (for a change). Akin is just a hypocrite  trying to backpedal and say he didn't really mean what he said, and his apologists are no better.

anon76returns
anon76returns

He didn't even have the good grace to try and backpedal.  His statement was basically "I'm sorry I used that word, but it was exactly what I meant".

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

GOP,  catholic christ-cult, TEA PARTY CAMPERS, LOONS

(but I repeat myself):

The War on Women: YOU built that;

The Second Great

Depression: YOU built that;

The War on Iraq built on lies about WMD that led

to the deaths of four thousand American patriot soldiers: YOU built that.

Frankly, we're sick of the crap you've built. Take your flip flopping flea

infested lying candidates back to Goobertopia.

 

"We have a president, who I think is is a nice guy, but

he spent too much time at Harvard, perhaps." —Mitt Romney, who has two

Harvard degrees

anon76returns
anon76returns

There are more Catholic Democrats in the Senate than Catholic Republicans.  Obama won the Catholic vote in 2008.

If you are seeking to influence people with your arguments, you might want to watch where you point your bigotry.

Just a friendly tip.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

I'll keep that in mind when I post my "Why The catholic christ cult Hates Women."  More about the poop and the republicrap catholic christ cult than about the democrats.

And, by the way: telling the truth is not bigotry.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

Does Willard really think women will willingly give up control of our bodily autonomy to a bunch of male GOTP politicians?

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

 

A woman who has never worked a day in her life is going to

make her husband seem “in touch” with the American people?  Is there any doubt that a Romney

administration would favor the rich and increase the income gap in our

country?  Mitt is a pariah in Mormon

Clothing and will stop at nothing to expand an empire of greed for the rich in

this country by expanding tax cuts for the 1% of the wealthiest Americans.  He’s out to gut the Middle Class for every

red cent he can get.  Will his sacred

Mormon underwear grant him the protection and money to buy this election?  See for yourself as Mitt dons his

tighty-whities sent down from the Good Lord Himself at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Abortion is a divisive issue but most people can respect (even if they disagree) the reasons for wanting to ban abortion.  Most people can stomache voting for a guy they disagree with but they still respect when the issue they disagree on isn't in their top 5.

But when you start talking about pregnancies out of wedlock in a society where 50% of marriages end in divorce (meaning your average constituent has been through one - or know someone who's been through one) and people are marrying later and later, you're going to lose respect.  When you start calling women sluts because they have sex out of wedlock, you're going to lose respect.  When you start trying to prevent women from getting contraceptives, even young men will abandon you in droves.  When you fail miserably to understand the horrors of rape and show an absolute ignorance to it, you're going to lose respect. When you show that your teenage daughter understands the woman's reproductive system better than you do, you're going to lose respect.

And that is why Republicans have such a big women problem.  If the economy weren't so bad (and they hadn't beat Obama up for it), Republicans would be smoked!

ERenger
ERenger

“and if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men.”

------------

And you'll hear the men grunting a little more than the women. 

The real question is why is Ann Romney eavesdropping on other people having sex?

ChowT
ChowT

Not getting it.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 Recollection of memories long gone?

Regret for memories that never were?

P*nis envy?

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

Memories of a past long gone?

Thoughts of a past that never was?

Pen!s envy?

ERenger
ERenger

“The Democrats try and make this a political issue every four years, but this is a matter in the courts,” Romney told CBS News recently. “It’s been settled for some time in the courts.”

-----------

Clearly it's not a Presidential issue, because it's not like Presidents have any influence over the make-up of the Supreme Court... 

John Cook
John Cook

I think a lot of folks would vote for Romney if his plans offered any hope for the average person.  After Bush II, a trust me campaign is a long shot.  His main issue with groups is that women are a huge group that goes across multiple demographics.  Having a 13-23 point gap is huge.  His suggested cuts go to this demographic -- gutting college aide (how will parents pay for their children to go to college?), repealing the health care law (what happens to the millions of kids that are on their parents plan and how about preventative care for women), as long as AARP is behind Obama on Medicaid, Romney will be lucky to win seniors... ....  Romney needs to THINK about having more than a trust me campaign or folks will just revert to the less harmful alternative....  

Richard Giles
Richard Giles

It is amazing and disgusting when they present their own credits always neglecting their history and what they have said in the past, just ignoring reality in general, completely taking for granted that the people are gullible and naive and just "pawns" to be manipulated in their game of politics.  Christie ignores the negative economy that contradicts his previous statements, Romney now wants to sway women and immigrants after ignoring and even considering them 2nd-class in past performances and past statements, the Republican Party wants to cultivate the middle-class when they have ignored them and taken them for granted to cater only to "the money", who owns and controls them, literally on and on without conscience and with total arrogance.  Are the people really that easy?

Meet Romney's five boys -

the Koch brothers, Adelson, Karl Rove amp; Dick Cheney -

who are trying to buy the election,

not for Romney

but for Romney to serve them.

charlieromeobravo
charlieromeobravo

"Romney wasn’t helped by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin‘s recent comments..."

Please.  This is a case that the GOP have been building against women for years, Akin was only the latest example.  The last, and more significant IMO, example was the big contraception debate of 1950... err...  I mean 2012.  Limbaugh, Sandra Fluke, Rick Santorum, that was a doozy.  The GOP alienate women more and more every time a moment like that happens and the GOP comes down on the wrong side of a debate the rest of the civilized world thought was settled 5 decades ago.  Akin might have been the loudest example in the last few months but you don't have to follow the news very closely to find other examples of conservatives wishing the could roll back the clock on women's rights on a nearly daily basis.

Paul Dirks
Paul Dirks

I still find it amazing that anytime anyone asks 'what will Mitt do as President?" they are told that such questions are a 'distraction' It seem to me the ones doing the distracting are the ones who won't answer any questions.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

From a women's rights perspective, no one need ask Romney any question about what he would do as president. He's already answered any questions that matter.

http://youtu.be/ovHWulL3Ydw

charlieromeobravo
charlieromeobravo

Asking nearly anything about what Mitt did in the past or wants to do specifically in the future theoretical Romney administration has been deemed off limits by his campaign.  It's the strangest campaign I've ever seen.  They refuse to give details about their policy proposals because they say it will just give the Dems ammo.  They've declared Bain, the bulk of Mitt's adult life, off limits because... they say so?  They avoid talking about his governorship because he can't reconcile his moderate positions then with his "severely conservative" positions now, Romneycare chief among them.  Taxes?  Off limits for a variety of shifting reasons.  His pitch is basically "I was successful in life for reasons I won't discuss and you should vote for me because trust me."

filmnoia
filmnoia

This couldn't be coming out at a more appropriate time. A piece by a great investigative reporter, who puts his colleagues to shame -

http://www.rollingstone.com/po...

Of  course the wingnuts will attack the messenger, because they can't refute the basic outline of the story. I'd love to be in the rafters at Tampa and drop copies of this piece down on top of the delegates.

anon76returns
anon76returns

Ah man, when I saw rolling stone in the link I was just thinking to myself "please don't be Taibbi, please don't be Taibbi."

He reminds me a bit of Hitchens, actually.  An equal opportunity offender who is so impressed with his own opinions that one is embarrassed to be on his side in an argument.

S_Deemer
S_Deemer

Thanks for the link to the Taibbi piece. I'm not sure I would call him a "great investigative reporter," but he always makes for interesting reading.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Y'know that thingy back in the late '70s--the Equal Rights Amendment?  Wonder if we'd be going thru all this baloney had the states passed it....

chupkar
chupkar

Akins, and Smith, and King (don't know of pregnant 12 y.o.s through rape - although at beginning of month brought up a scenario all by himself that included it) and Ryan rape is "another method of conception". No, it isn't just about Mitt.

mscoyote
mscoyote

 Just noted a pregnant 11 year old in the news two days ago raped and pregnant by her stepfather.  Of course I suppose he was uncontrollably attracted to her because she lived in the same house.  Or perhaps she gave him the come-on by wanting some hugs.  Good idea to have eleven year old girls bear a kid.  Punishes them both for just existing.  I'm sure god wants that.