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The race was on for independent women voters
Candidates stage an all-out effort to woo key bloc
For his part, Mr. Romney stated that the president had “failed America’s women,” repeatedly emphasizing that the sluggish national economy was not only Mr. Obama’s fault, but also particularly harmful to women. Moreover, many political observers read Mr. Romney’s noninterventionist foreign policy stance in the third debate — a shift from more-bellicose Republican primary rhetoric — as an effort to reassure women voters.
Mr. Romney’s only televised ad about reproductive issues featured a woman at her home computer stating that the Republican candidate “doesn’t oppose contraception at all,” and “thinks abortions should be an option” in some cases; another commercial posted on Mr. Romney’s website featured humanizing testimonials from women who had worked with him during his tenure as governor of Massachusetts.
“Romney’s goal was to mitigate women’s concerns about social policy issues and get them thinking about the economy instead,” Ms. Lawless said. “When voters are not primed to think about social issues, they are not likely to favor one party over the other.”
For her part, Mrs. Cartwright said that she sometimes felt as though both parties were pandering to her sex — for example, she was less concerned with Mr. Romney’s soft-serve debate style than what she perceived to be his superficial statements on Middle East policy — and that she welcomed the end of the campaign.
“It’s ridiculous how much we have been targeted by these campaigns,” she said. “Constantly on the radio, constantly in the mailbox. It will be nice to have it be over with.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Patrick Hruby is an award-winning journalist who holds degrees from Georgetown and Northwestern. He also contributes to ESPN.com and The Atlantic Online, and his work has been featured in The Best American Sports Writing. Follow him on Twitter (@patrick_hruby) and contact him at PatrickHruby.net.
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