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Closing the Gender Gap

Photo by: USA Today

It is not unknown that President Obama’s performance at the first debate was less than stellar; substantially decreasing the comfortable lead he once held in the polls.  In a USA Today/ Gallup poll released yesterday, it became evident that Governor Romney’s rise can be much attributed to women voters, particularly in swing states.  The poll was conducted between October 5-11 in the states of CO, FL, IA, MI, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA and WI, showing Romney only one point behind Obama.  The results being 49% of likely women voters stating they would re-elect the President if today were November 6th and 48% stating they would elect the Governor, with a margin of error of -/+ 4-6%.

There has long been a considerable gender gap between the Democratic and Republican parties, essential for Democrats to get elected to the White House.  In the 2008 general election, Obama won with 13% more of the women’s vote, which he has little chance of re-election without.

Although Romney’s performance at the first debate exemplified a moderate Mitt that had gone missing over the past two years of campaigning, it must be remembered that this election will be detrimental for women’s issues.

Not only has the Romney/ Ryan ticket stated their opposition to a women’s choice, but will limit a women’s access to essential health care.  They will defund Planned Parenthood, an important source of preventative care, such as cancer screenings for those who cannot afford them.  Governor Romney has also refused to state his support for the Ledbetter Equal Pay Act, the first piece of legislation President Obama signed when he took office, allowing women to sue their employers when they are not being paid equally to men in the same position with the same experience.

It must be understood that this election is not just about having the ability to obfuscate your positions to obliteration, as Romney has proven he is so proficient at; but about the actual policies each candidate supports.  The implications of November 6th will affect everyone, particularly women, and it is imperative that people realize what these consequences will be before casting their vote.

*The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

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