April Joos understands that she is pretty special: She's an undecided female voter in Ohio.
She is dissatisfied with President Obama’s handling of the economy but doesn’t see a guarantee that Mitt Romney will do any better.
“I’m waiting for one of them to say something that gives me confidence,” she said.
You probably know by now that Ohio is a key battleground state. It carries 18 electoral votes, but more importantly the only people to win the presidency without winning Ohio were FDR and JFK. A Republican has never done it.
With the candidates this year polling pretty much neck and neck, the undecided vote is razor thin. Women like Joos populate a solid majority of those undecideds. In the past they have carried titles like “Soccer Moms.” At least one newspaper has applied the term “waitress mom,” reflecting the struggling economy, but whoever wins them probably gets to be king.
Conservatives and liberals have taken different approaches to woo Buckeye women.
Obama supporters are hitting on issues they think are tailored toward the concerns of women. They push the notion that a Republican vote will set the progress of women back and limit their choices with health care.
“I don’t think any male politicians should be making health care decisions for women,’’ Obama told a crowd in Richmond, Va.
The Obama campaign and liberal PACs have worked to link Mitt Romney to the inflammatory statements regarding abortion and rape from Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin. They have an ad running with Romney’s endorsement of Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock followed by Mourdock’s statement that if a woman becomes pregnant from rape, “That is something God intended to happen.”
However, the specialized women’s issues are not a priority for women like Joos.
“I'm a single gal as far as my concern is," she said. "I want the job security. ... Women's issues, sure they're important, but they just aren't hugely important to me."
Conservative groups are playing toward a mindset like hers.
"The women I talk to are worried about the security of their family, education for their kids, their husband and them having a job,” Seth Morgan of Americans for Prosperity said. “This trumped-up war on reproductive rights, etc. -- I don’t think that’s a winning message for the other side.”
Michael Tobin joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2001 and currently serves as a Chicago-based correspondent.