American Prospect blogger Jamelle Bouie describes how being a woman and a Republican may soon become mutually exclusive ideas. Between the Komen-versus-Planned Parenthood uproar, Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” war with Sandra Fluke and transvaginal ultrasounds in Virginia, GOP-leaning women may have had enough.
The controversy over contraception has definitely made its way onto the political landscape. At the very least, ordinary Americans know that the Obama administration mandated “free” birth control for women, Republicans spoke out in opposition, and — most important — conservative figures like Rush Limbaugh denounced supporters of the administration as “sluts.” And together with the previous fight over the Komen Foundation’s decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood, the proposed bill in Virginia that forced transvaginal ultrasounds (read: penetration) on women who received abortions, this knowledge grew into something more dangerous for Republicans — a belief, among many Americans, that the GOP is hostile to women.
You can see how this might be a problem for the Republican Party in the latest Swing States Poll, conducted by USA Today and Gallup. According to the survey — which polled registered voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin — President Obama wins more than 60 percent support among women under 50, an increase of more than 10 percent since the last poll, in February.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has seen a corresponding drop in his support among women, from 44 percent to 30 percent. Among all women, Obama has an 18-point lead over the former Massachusetts governor, and overall — because of this widening gap — Obama wins 51 percent support among swing state voters to Romney’s 42 percent. Gallup hasn’t released cross tabs for the poll, but I wouldn’t be surprised if most of Obama’s gain came from white women, who tend to break evenly among the two parties.
Read Jamelle Bouie’s entire op-ed at the American Prospect.