Team Obama is wooing women voters by declaring itself the defender of Big Bird against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’ budget-axe.
“There’s been a strong grassroots outcry over the attacks on Big Bird,” campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Oct. 9. “This is something that mothers across the country are alarmed about, and we’re tapping into that.”
The Democrats’ push has prompted derision from many Republicans and even left-of-center media outlets.
But one of the most surprising aspects of the post-Denver boost for Romney has been his gains among women.
For example, Pew Research Center’s Oct. 8 poll showed that Romney has eliminated an 18-point deficit among women. A poll by Public Policy Polling showed Obama leading Romney among women by 15 points in Minnesota, but only 8 points in swing-state Virginia and only 6 points nationally.
That’s down from a 15-point gender gap recorded in September by PPP.
Normally, GOP candidates usually lead among married women and men, while Democrats benefit from a large advantage among unmarried women, especially unmarried women with kids.
Since the debate, Obama has taunted Romney for promising to cut the federal subsidy to Big Bird.
“For all you moms and kids out there, you should have confidence that finally somebody is cracking down on Big Bird,” Obama told a San Francisco fundraiser Oct. 8.
“Elmo has been seen in a white Suburban. He’s driving for the border. … Oscar is hiding out in his trashcan. … We’re cracking down on them. Gov. Romney’s plan is to let Wall Street run wild again, but he’s going to bring the hammer down on ‘Sesame Street,’ Obama told his laughing audience.
Campaign officials pressed the Big Bird button again Oct. 9 by rolling out a new ad slated for cable television networks.
“There’s only one candidate in this race who is going to continue to fight for Big Bird and Elmo, and he is riding on this plane,” Psaki, the Obama spokeswoman, claimed Oct. 9.
“The larger point here is that this is about priorities and choices,” she said. “When your first offering for your plans to bring down the deficit is a combination of a $5 trillion tax cut for millionaires and billionaires and cutting funding to Big Bird, it’s hard to take your plan seriously,” she claimed.