Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney needs to devote more focus to his economic ideas and less to his stance on social issues if he wants to attract more female votes, Republican strategists say.
Women account for 54 percent of voters and represented a key cog of support for President Barack Obama in 2008. A Gallup poll released this week showed Obama leading Romney among women 54 percent to 36 percent in 12 key states.
The recent debate between Republicans and Democrats over reproductive issues wasn’t helpful to the GOP cause, some of the strategists told The Hill
“The contraception issue was very damaging for Republicans, and it was a huge turnoff to women voters,” said Tony Fratto, a Republican strategist who served as deputy press secretary to former president George W. Bush. “It hurt the Republican brand across the board, and it made it difficult for Gov. Romney to stay focused on economic issues.”
Romney should play up the issues of gas prices and spending cuts to woo women, another GOP strategist, Ron Bonjean, told The Hill. “Neither side, the Republicans or the Democrats, has been able to solidify that vote,” he said.
Fratto said an emphasis on trade and education issues could help Romney attract women too. “If he can talk about education as an economic issue, not a cultural issue that would benefit him,” Fratto said. “And trade has not been a good issue for Obama either.”
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