Playing Obama's game: Which group of women voters is Romney trying to reach?

But what’s mystifying is just which women Republicans are trying to reach. The number of voters who are deeply concerned about the treatment of Democratic women in the White House and will vote for a Republican as a result has to be, as a rough approximation, zero. Ditto for the number of voters who are especially concerned about high gas prices not because they themselves are paying them or because everyone is but because women, as a group, are. I suspect that not many people think that way, and those who do lean pretty strongly Democratic.

The evidence that Romney is lagging in the polls because voters are upset about a “war on women” — rather than because of a bruisingly negative primary campaign or the recovering economy — is pretty thin. But Republicans are responding not just to the polls but to the persistent mythology of the gender gap…

Obama barely won men in 2008. If this race is at all competitive, he will lose them this time. And that’s not all we can predict. Romney will win among large subgroups of women: those who are married, those who are white, those who go to church regularly. Gender isn’t the principal determinant of women’s votes any more than it is of men’s.

And making an issue of the statistics about job loss by gender will come back to haunt Republicans. Romney claims that 92 percent of those lost since Obama took office belonged to women. Does he have any plan, as president, to ensure that women get the right percentage of jobs?

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