“I think women are more susceptible to MSM’s signals that Ron Paul is out in the cold, not a part of the establishment community. It’s certainly easier for a man than for a woman to fight a battle on his own,” wrote one commenter who went by “Plop.”
Another poster said a women-for-Paul website is in the works.
“They’re wives, trying to take care of the family and kids. Maybe they are more about, you know, they want the health benefits, they want things from the government to take care of the family. I don’t know,” said Ryan Amidon, 35, from Garner, Mass., who drove to see Mr. Paul campaign at MoeJoe’s Family Restaurant in Manchester.
“It is kind of weird,” he said. “I noticed the same thing. Maybe it’s the gun-rights thing, Second Amendment. More guys have guns. It’s kind of odd, though.”
But Jennifer L. Lawless, director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University, said the abortion explanation probably doesn’t explain Mr. Paul’s support because all of the candidates in the primary hold pro-life views, and they are working to attract Republican primary voters.
She said it seems Mr. Paul’s message is targeted at men, and in particular young men, who are likely to be attracted to his fiscal conservative message.
“Especially in a state like New Hampshire where you’ve got fiscal conservatives who are not necessarily social conservatives, there’s a nice well to be primed there,” she said.
Some candidates have made overt appeals. Newt Gingrich held a forum with women before the caucuses, sponsored by CafeMom.com and moderated by Republican pollster Frank Luntz, where he answered female voters’ questions.
At one point, asked about his mother, Mr. Gingrich began to weep.
Online, Mr. Paul’s supporters debated ways to try to narrow the gap. Some suggested having Mr. Paul bring his wife and grandchildren on the campaign circuit — something he has done more often in recent weeks. Others wanted Mr. Paul to highlight his previous career as an obstetrician, or to talk about his desire to curtail the war in Afghanistan.
Others pondered how they could broaden their own appeals when spreading the gospel of Mr. Paul.
Mr. Paul does have one high-profile female supporter — singer Kelly Clarkson, an early winner of Fox’s “American Idol” contest, who said on Twitter that “Ron Paul is about letting people decide, not the government. I am for this.”
• Seth McLaughlin and Dave Boyer, reporting from New Hampshire, contributed to this report.
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Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
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