Mitt Romney is winning more support from women than men this time around in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a report in the Boston Globe
Citing public and independent polls, the Globe said Romney’s advisers repeatedly have noticed a larger share of support from women turning up in the surveys of eligible voters, especially among the so-called “Walmart Moms” who are considered a key demographic in the 2012 presidential battle.
“We’ve seen that difference for a while,” Romney pollster Neil Newhouse told the Globe last week. “It may be that, to women, experience makes more of a difference. Experience, leadership — it’s the tangibles.”
But good looks still count for something, the Globe noted, observing that women list his “chiseled” features as an attraction, in addition to appreciating the former Massachusetts governor’s values, business background and family story.
“He is just a gentleman,” Linda Thurlow, a 45-year-old stay-at-home mom from Maine, told the Globe. “He’s a good man, a good American family man.”
According to the polls, women favor Romney about five percentage points more than men, who tend to have more ideological differences with the candidate. The small gender gap was not something that turned up in Romney’s presidential run in 2008 or in his campaign for governor in 2002, the Globe noted.
During this campaign, however, Romney has eased up a bit and doesn’t seem to be wound as tightly as he was four years ago. In addition to loosening up a bit — he doesn’t wear a suit as much out on the stump – his family and wife are playing a bigger role in this effort, the Globe noted.
At the same time, Romney’s message is more focused. He rarely mentions his opposition to abortion, for example, and focuses nearly every speech on the economy.
Whatever the reasons, the Globe pointed to a recent Fox News poll as evidence that something is obviously working in Romney’s favor among women voters. In the poll, Romney drew 23 percent support from Republican women nationally, compared with 17 percent for Georgia businessman Herman Cain and 11 percent for Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
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