Thursday, October 04, 2012

Will “Walmart moms” help Obama win?

The Obama campaign is banking on it, and making a lot of withdrawals from its banks to fund TV ads targeted at them, an article in The Atlantic says:

Democrats say blue-collar women have been the principal, and most receptive, target for their extended ad barrage portraying Romney as a plutocrat who is blind, if not indifferent, to the struggles of average families.

"Advertising matters, and a lot of the advertising is aimed at that group," said Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, who is advising the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA. "That's certainly been our No. 1 priority." …

A Republican strategist familiar with the Romney campaign's thinking agreed that Obama's improving position among these economically-strained, often culturally-conservative women has keyed his rise in most battleground states. "The sheer weight of their advertising, and the shows they targeted that advertising on, it is [aimed at] lower-income, white, working women," said the GOP strategist. "They are being pounded with this stuff."

And it has to, in order to win. Obama is running relatively ahead of Romney when it comes to college-educated white women, but as in 2008 is running behind Romney amongst all men.

The ‘Walmart moms’ as they have been dubbed, or ‘waitress moms’, have responded well to the barrage of advertising targeting Romney’s indifference to 47% of the electorate:

Across most of the presidential battleground states, particularly in the Midwest, President Obama's lead rests on a surprisingly strong performance among blue-collar white women who usually tilt toward the GOP.

A National Journal analysis of recent polling results across 11 states considered battlegrounds shows that in most of them, Obama is running considerably better than he is nationally among white women without a college education. Obama's gains with these so-called "waitress moms" are especially pronounced in Heartland battlegrounds like Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Combined with his continued support among other elements of his "coalition of the ascendant," including young people, minorities, and college-educated women, these advances among blue-collar women have been enough to propel Obama to the lead over Republican Mitt Romney in the most recent public surveys in all 11 states (albeit in some cases within the polls' margins of error).

It will be interesting to see if Romney can capitalize on his debate win to target these women and persuade them to revert to past voting behaviour by casting their votes for the Republican candidate on November 6.

His overpowering of Obama on the economic issue in the debate has certainly given him a launching pad for such an attack.

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