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Women in Battleground States Less Likely to Vote for Republican Ticket After Learning Romney and Ryan’s Views on Women’s Health

WASHINGTON — A new poll of women voters in six battleground states released today by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund provides strong evidence that the record and views of Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan on women’s health issues have a measurable and dramatic impact — making women voters less likely to vote for the Republican ticket in November. 

The poll also finds that an overwhelming majority of women voters, a critical swing population who will be key to determining the outcome of this year’s election, trust Planned Parenthood when it speaks out about issues affecting the health of women and teens in America. Women surveyed place a premium on Planned Parenthood’s voice in sorting out and advocating important health care-related issues

“It comes as no surprise that the more women learn about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s record and positions on women’s health, the more appalled they are. Politics has no place in a woman’s personal medical decisions. Women voters believe that, and in November their votes will reflect it,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Read the full poll memo HERE.

Among the poll’s findings:

  • Half of voters surveyed say they have doubts and concerns about whether Mitt Romney would make a good president. By a 24-point margin, they judge him to be “out of step” on issues affecting women.
  • After hearing about Romney’s statements about women’s preventive and reproductive health, the proportion of women who describe him as “out of step” on issues affecting women grows from 44 to 64 percent.
  • Half of the women surveyed after Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate say that makes them less likely to vote for the ticket, in light of Ryan’s position that life begins at conception, his opposition to stem cell research and his desire to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. 
  • At this point in the campaign, women voters in these six states favor Obama over Romney by a full 13-point margin (52 to 39 percent). 
  • Nearly three in four (73 percent) women in battleground states agree that they “trust Planned Parenthood when it speaks out about issues affecting the health of women and teens in America.” Notably, this trust is strong among potential key electoral audiences, including self-identified independents (76 percent), undecided voters (88 percent), and non-college-educated women (75 percent).

“For nearly 100 years, women and families have trusted Planned Parenthood for high-quality, affordable health care and information. This fall, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund is redoubling our efforts to educate voters about the Romney/Ryan agenda and how dangerous it is for women’s health,” Richards said. 

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have vowed to overturn Roe v. Wade and end safe and legal abortion, have said they support extreme “personhood” measures that would give full constitutional rights to fertilized eggs, would defund Planned Parenthood, cutting off women’s access to preventive care including cancer screenings and birth control, and have promised to shut down the nation’s family planning program that more than five million people a year rely on for birth control, cancer screenings and other care.

The poll was conducted by Hart Research Associates, Inc., on behalf of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. It was conducted August 9-13, 2012, among 817 women voters in six likely battleground states (Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada).  It has a margin of error of +/-3.43 percent.