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Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in Politics | 9 comments

Santorum Picking Up Support From Republican Women

The conventional wisdom is shattered again with the news that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is picking up support among women rather than losing it — picking up support from Republican women:

Over the past several weeks, Republicans have watched squeamishly as presidential contender Rick Santorum has waded into multiple controversies that risk alienating half the 2012 electorate: women.

But in fact, Santorum has grown more popular among women while talking about his opposition to abortion, his disapproval of birth control and his view that the federal government shouldn’t pay for prenatal screenings. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows not only that Santorum is doing better among GOP women than he was a few weeks ago, but also that he is less unpopular — and also less well known — among Democratic and independent women than his Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
The reason? His blue-collar appeal:
Voters and political strategists alike say Santorum’s rise has less to do with his views on these issues than on his ability to relate to the daily struggles of the middle class.

Nonetheless, the former senator from Pennsylvania and the other Republican candidates remain largely untested by the dynamics of a general election in which independent and Democratic women are expected to play a deciding role.

All of the campaigns — and the White House — are paying close attention to this major voting bloc, exploring how women feel about hot-button social issues and economic matters. Santorum’s views on health issues do not appear to have hurt in the primary. Yet he and the other Republican candidates are acutely aware of the danger those issues could present this fall.

It’ll be interested to see how this plays out in Michiga.