Recent Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News polling of swing states has shown Mitt Romney trailing President Obama decisively among women — by 8 points in Colorado, 14 in Virginia, and some 23 in Wisconsin.
It’s unsurprising, then, that the Romney campaign has announced a new Women for Mitt coalition, chaired by the candidate’s wife, Ann.
More subtle is an apparent pivot by Team Romney on the healthcare issue. Romney press secretary Andrea Saul rebutted a brutal Obama campaign ad starring a man whose wife died without medicare coverage by claiming the couple would have had insurance had they lived in Massachusetts.
Hmm. Was Saul speaking out of school — bringing up the state healthcare reform law that dare not speak its name?
Campaigning in Iowa, Romney himself said: “We’ve got to do some reforms in health care, and I have some experience doing that as you know, and I know how to make a better setting than the one we have in health care.”
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that Saul wasn’t slipping up and Romney wasn’t wandering off message. Not in the same day. Over at the American Spectator, Jim Antle speculates: “There are those who think Romney would benefit politically from embracing his Massachusetts health care record, even if it blurs the distinction with Barack Obama on the issue. This may be the beginning of the campaign testing that theory.”
RedState’s Erick Erickson flipped out in a tweet: “OMG. This might just be the moment Mitt Romney lost the election.” Later he said of Saul: “She is hurting Romney. She is an official voice of the campaign. This was an unforced error of monumental idiocy and the blowback is deserved, appropriate, and — most importantly — absolutely necessary.”
It seems needless to say that if Romney is softening his profile on healthcare, he’s not trying to woo the Erick Ericksons of the electorate. He’s trying to win over women — especially single women. As I see it, Romney has no other choice at this point but to try.
Except more of this in the runup to Tampa.