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August 20th, 2012
06:02 PM ET

Letters to the President #1309: 'The mysterious case of the disappearing women'

Reporter's Note: I write to President Obama every day. He’s on the campaign trail a lot these days, so I’m not sure if he is reading my letters. Come to think of it, I’m not sure he’s ever read any of them.

Dear Mr. President,

I ran into some interesting information about you today. I knew it already, in a general, academic sense, but somehow the details of it struck my consciousness like rocks on the windshield: You’ve lost ground among women.

I was working on a story about Paul Ryan, female voters, and this notion that you and your Dems are selling that the GOP is waging a war on women. I wondered how strong your support was among women compared to 2008, and I was startled to find out that you’ve lost more ground on that front than I thought. Make no mistake: You are still beating Romney handily in the fight for the female vote, but you’re not beating him as badly as you were beating John McCain. Why do you suppose that is the case?

It could be that women have just grown a little less interested in you, but I don’t really think that is true. Polls suggest you are still widely liked even by people who don’t think much of your job performance.

Maybe you’ve done something to offend the women of America? I can’t imagine what that would have been, so I’m disinclined to accept that explanation.

Or maybe the Republicans are right; that women, like men only to a lesser degree, are so concerned about the economy that they want to give someone else a shot at the Oval Office. Sure, these women don’t like Republicans much, but they like unemployment even less.

I’m sure you’re not pleased with your vanishing female support, whatever the cause. I’m sure you will do all you can to make up that lost ground. But however you decide to address it, I suspect you will have to do more than just say the Republicans are against women. You’re going to have to show, clearly and unmistakably, that you have made life better for women and their families. And in this economy, that could be a challenge.

Give me a call if you want to talk. I’m busy as can be this week, but I’ll always make time.

Regards,
Tom

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