Women’s vote could make the difference in key battleground state
With the presidential election less than two months away, President Obama leads Mitt Romney by five points in Virginia in the most recent NBC/Marist poll.
In Virginia, Real Clear Politics polls show that Obama has held a small lead over Romney for most of the campaign until the beginning of September, when the gap diminished, leaving between one and two points between each candidate.
Some political analysts say that Obama holds on to the minority vote in Virginia and perhaps more importantly, considering some of the state’s recent proposed legislation, he also holds on to the women vote.
According to the U.S. Census, women make up almost exactly half of Virginia’s population, but after the state’s most recent General Assembly session, women’s rights issues became a hot-button topic for many voters.
Early in the session, HB462 sponsored by Republican Kathy Byron of Lynchburg, gained the public’s attention for requiring trans-vaginal ultrasounds before women could receive an abortion
State Senator, Democrat Janet Howell from Fairfax, proposed a floor amendment to HB462 during session in January to require men seeking medication for erectile dysfunction to undergo a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test.
Howell’s obvious dissatisfaction wasn’t limited to just her. House bills 1 and 462, along with other bills, prompted women from around the state to gather at the state’s capitol grounds on March 3 to bring attention to all the bills that targeted women during the session. 31 demonstrators were arrested that day, many charged with trespassing or unlawful assembly.
Romney and Ryan have had some trouble holding on to the women’s vote in Virginia and other important swing states. According to a Hart Research Survey poll commissioned by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, 52 percent of women in Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada prefer Obama to Romney (who came out with a 39 percent approval rating from women in those states).
Romney has talked about overturning Roe v. Wade as well as stopping federal funding to Planned Parenthood. On his official website, Romney does not address his official stance on women’s rights issues.
Currently, the two U.S. Senate candidates, George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D) are tied in polls at 46 percent each, with 8 percent of voters undecided.
Allen and Kaine will debate three times before Election Day, including the first one coming up this Thursday in McLean.