A surge of female voters for Romney confuses Obama backers

Castor said the Ryan plan to make Medicare into a voucher program will ultimately hurt the GOP ticket in Florida.

"Women are probably going to make the difference in Florida," she said, mentioning Medicare and equal pay for women as key stances that benefit the Democratic ticket.

"President Obama has been a champion (on equal pay). When it comes to Medicare? Women live longer, so when you put Medicare into a voucher that undermines economic security of families ... so those (issues) are right at the heart of this election," Castor said.

Throughout 2012, Democrats thought they had an advantage with single women, which is why they emphasized the issues regarding choice at the DNC. But the fact that President Obama didn't exploit the difference on women's issues disappointed many of his supporters.

Castor told reporters that she's "hoping President Obama will be stronger" during Tuesday's debate at Hofstra University on Long Island in New York.

"Gov. Romney had so many mistruths that he stated and that went unchallenged, and that was frustrating," Castor confessed, anticipating that Obama "is not going to let him get away with that again."

Castor served on the House Budget Committee led by Ryan. She said it's one thing for Ryan — while on Capitol Hill — to float ideas like changing Medicare into a voucher program (the plan passed in the House but was thwarted in the Democratic-controlled Senate), but another when he's on a presidential ticket.

"That makes it real for families," she said.

Last month, Republicans complained about the polls when they weren't in Mitt Romney's favor, while this month, Team Obama officials are bellyaching.

On Monday, Obama pollster Joel Benenson said there were "deep flaws in Gallup's likely voter screen," and he dismissed the survey as an "extreme outlier."

Last week, Gallup announced several changes to its survey methodology, which you can read about here.

  • Kathy Castor

The presidential campaign was shaken up, perhaps definitively, by the first presidential debate in Denver on Oct. 3.

Perhaps the biggest fallout (if it is to be believed) is a USA TODAY/Gallup poll that was published on Tuesday. The survey, given to likely women voters in the 12 battleground states, shows Mitt Romney in a statistical tie with President Obama (Obama is up 49-48 percent). Gallup has switched its methodology from polling registered to likely voters, which makes up part of the difference. Among registered voters in the swing states, Obama is still up with female voters.

Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told the paper that in every poll since Denver, Romney's numbers with women have risen.

"Women went into the debate actively disliking Romney, and they came out thinking he might understand their lives and might be able to get something done for them," she said.

Female Democrats, like Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor, strongly disagree.

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