How many of these younger and/or better-educated women are going to identify with Ann Romney’s father-knows-best description of life in chez Romney? I understand that the candidate badly needs humanizing but, especially for general-election purposes, it would be more powerful to combine the family story with examples, assuming they exist, about Workplace Mitt promoting women or adopting family-friendly policies.
Even as Mitt was playing a bit role in his wife’s video, Obama was hosting a “White House Forum on Women and the Economy.” In an unstated yet unavoidable contrast with stay-at-home mother Ann Romney, Obama described his wife as “the woman who once advised me at the law firm in Chicago where we met” and related how Michelle Obama, after their daughters were born, “gave it her all to balance raising a family and pursuing a career.”
Obama and Romney come from different backgrounds and generations, and their experience of gender roles is inevitably different as well; if Obama connects better with younger, working women, that’s no surprise. And Romney is not alone in performing poorly with women voters. The GOP has suffered from a gender gap in every presidential election since 1980.
So Romney can lose the women’s vote and still win, but not if the gap remains this big. Narrowing it will be, in this case, a man’s job.