Feature

How Romney can win over women voters

Mitt Romney still has a chance to address his women problem.

Michael Gerson
The Washington Post

Mitt Romney still has a chance to address his women problem, said Michael Gerson. Polls show him trailing Barack Obama among women by as much as 18 points in swing states such as Ohio—but they also show that this gender gap wasn’t caused by Romney’s opposition to a contraception mandate for religious institutions, as liberals contend. Women are turned off by Romney because they see him as coldly ideological. To appeal to the GOP’s Tea Party base, Romney has become “harsh on immigration, confrontational on social issues, simplistic in condemning government, and silent on the struggles of the poor.” Do women like men without empathy? Um, no. The last time Republicans won the White House, they did so with George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism,” which emphasized improving schools, humane immigration reform, and faith-based care for the poor. Republicans now scorn all that—at their peril. To win in November, Romney has to do more than promise to cut spending and taxes. He needs a positive vision that includes all Americans, not just conservative males. He needs “to show some humanity.”

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