A new poll from USA Today/Gallup shows that, if the election were held today, women voters would give President Obama a second term. The poll focused on swing states and demonstrated that the women’s health benefits in the Affordable Care Act will be extremely important in the upcoming election.
The poll found that health care is the number one factor for many women in this election and that this precipitated a dramatic shift in the last two months towards the President by women under 50. They now favor the President 2 to 1 over Romney.
According to a former Republican strategist “The focus on contraception has not been a good one for us … and Republicans have unfairly taken on water on this issue.”
Counter to the GOP spin, their water damage has been self-inflicted. In the last three months alone, Republicans have opposed women having insurance coverage for birth control if their employer wanted to push their own religious views on employees. They’ve condoned repugnant things said about a young women who wanted to testify to Congress about the importance of no-cost birth control no matter where you work. They have fought proxy fights against Planned Parenthood through the Komen For the Cure Foundation and state legislatures, resulting in limited access to contraception and women’s preventative health care such as cancer screenings. The GOP has even put forward a law in Virginia that would force doctors to perform invasive ultrasound tests on patients before an abortion could be preformed.
These attacks on women’s ability to plan their families and make choices about their sexual and reproductive health may hurt the chances of Republicans seeking their votes. According to the poll, 63% of women are following the contraception debate either “very closely” or “somewhat closely.”