With election polls indicating essentially a dead heat between President Obama and Mitt Romney, both candidates are jockeying to woo undecided voters. However, those numbers are dwindling–just 4-9 percent of U.S. voters are undecided, depending upon whom you ask. If that sounds like a small group of voters, well, it is. According to many experts, our nation is so divided that the vast majority of folks have picked sides long before campaigns ever kick off.
That doesn’t exactly make life easy for campaign managers. The undecideds are difficult to categorize. They’re a cross-section of America, folks from different backgrounds and with diverse concerns. They are many groups within a group. And determining which to target in order to garner more support than your opponent is a challenging task.
However, one writer says there’s a bloc of undecided voters that Romney would be wise to target: deer hunters’ wives. According to the HuffPo’s Howard Fineman, male deer hunters support Romney over Obama by a 58-34 percent margin; our own presidential polls indicate a similar trend. Deer hunters’ wives? Not so much. Many are undecided and, according to Fineman, could be wooed by the Romney camp:
The Romney campaign has found that the Mrs. Deer Hunters respond strongly to the idea, hotly denied by the president, that Obama wants to end work requirements for welfare. And many of these Catholic voters are open to the argument that Obama’s health care reform law is unfairly forcing Catholic hospitals to provide abortion and contraceptive services to their staff.
Fineman’s argument is largely twofold: deer hunters’ wives (presumably including those who hunt) care about family, the economy and religious issues. Specifically, he seems to believe a lot of hunters are Catholic.
Whatever the Romney campaign’s strategy may be to garner the remaining undecided voters, expect to see it play out tomorrow as the Republican National Convention kicks off in Tampa, Fla. In this era of tightly contested elections, the “bump” in the polls that candidates receive following their conventions are absolutely critical. Fineman predicts the Romney/Ryan message will cater directly to deer hunters:
It’s no accident that the speaking line-up here at the Republican convention is heavily weighted toward prominent Catholics, not only Ryan but Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia. Romney has to hope that the Deer Hunter families are watching, because the convention will be speaking to them as directly as it can.
Are you buying into the Romney campaign’s message? Is your wife?