- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
Obama struggles to be a strong voice for women; Romney gains support
Question of the Day
CLEVELAND — With a poll showing his once-sizable lead among female voters is gone, a raspy-voiced President Obama rallied supporters Thursday in three battleground states, warning repeatedly that Republican rival Mitt Romney would roll back women’s rights and repeal the health care benefits they’ve been given under his signature health care law.
In Florida, Virginia and Ohio, an increasingly hoarse Mr. Obama urged voters not to lose faith in him, a message that his campaign is urgently aiming at women. With 12 days to go before Election Day, the signals that female voters are defecting from the president’s camp couldn’t come at a worse time for his re-election chances.
The final campaign sprint for both candidates was in high gear Thursday: As Mr. Obama crisscrossed the eastern half of the country, Mr. Romney campaigned Thursday in Ohio, where his advisers said their internal polling shows him tied with the president. The Republican nominee promised voters that he will bring “big changes” to the presidency and to the nation.
“The president’s campaign is slipping because he can’t find an agenda,” Mr. Romney told supporters in Worthington. “He’s been looking for it. There’s only 12 days left.”
An Associated Press/GfK survey released Thursday offered some backing for the Republican’s claims. It showed that Mr. Romney is now tied with Mr. Obama among women. Just a month ago, the president held a 16-point advantage among female voters in the same survey, and his hopes for a second term hinge on the strong support of women. In 2008, Mr. Obama won among female voters by 13 percentage points.
The poll also reported that Mr. Obama had narrowed — but not erased — Mr. Romney’s long-standing edge among male voters, from a 13-point deficit to 5 points.
Obama aides dismissed the AP poll results, as they have other surveys this month whose results seemed to show Mr. Romney rapidly closing the gap in the race. White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer called the AP poll “wrong” and blamed the bad results on voter fatigue at having to answer too many polls as the race winds down.
“It’s hard to poll these days, because there’s like 1,000 polling outfits calling every person in these battleground states,” Mr. Pfeiffer told reporters traveling with the president. “So when a media organization gets a poll that is so obviously wrong … then perhaps you want to throw it out instead of writing on it. If you look at the aggregate of all the polls, what you see is that the president has a very strong advantage with women.”
Obama aides also argued that polls in individual battleground states still show the president in a good position to capture more electoral votes than Mr. Romney, despite what the national surveys suggest. For example, a survey by a Democrat-leaning pollster showed the president maintaining his slim lead over Mr. Romney in Iowa, 49 percent to 47 percent, and a Time magazine poll gave him a 49 percent to 44 percent edge in Ohio.
One vote that the president could count on Thursday was his own. He interrupted his campaign schedule briefly to fly home to Chicago to vote early and became the first sitting president to cast his ballot before Election Day.
But bringing female voters back into the fold was clearly job No. 1 for the president in stop after stop.
In three rallies Thursday, Mr. Obama warned that a Romney administration would take away women’s right to control their own health care. He also seized on the clash over comments by Richard Mourdock, the Romney-endorsed Senate candidate in Indiana who said in a debate Tuesday that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, “that’s something God intended.”
“As we saw again this week, I don’t think any politician in Washington, most of whom are men, should be making health care decisions for women,” Mr. Obama told supporters near Tampa, Fla. “Women should be making their own health care decisions. That’s why the health care law we passed put those choices in your hands. That’s where it belongs, and that’s where it will stay as long as I’m president.”
Just as the good polling news about women arrived for Mr. Romney, the Republican faced questions for a second straight day about his failure to disown Mr. Mourdock in the wake of the controversy.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at email@example.com.
- Biden: Blacks have not made enough progress
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- U.S. intelligence nearly certain pro-Russian separatists downed Malaysian Airlines flight
- Latest Obama claim: I don't learn anything from the news
- Obama raises funds while international crises loom
Latest Blog Entries
- Obama and Boehner congratulate U.S. men's hockey on win over Russia
- Americans say income gap will shrink if government butts out, poll shows
- WH spokesman Jay Carney recognizes beard's 'insufficiency,' shaves it off
- Obama misses deadline again on budget
- Biden burns rubber in driveway, laments road restrictions
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is 'torture'
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq