War Over Women Comes to White House

Democrats clearly see women as a bloc they can reclaim from the 2010 midterms, when female voters sided with Republicans and helped tip the balance of the House. Democratic pollsters have said that the GOP's recent focus on social issues has kicked women back over to their side, and a slew of new surveys appear to support that. A USA Today/Gallup poll, for example, gives Obama a confident 18-point lead over presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney in 12 key swing states.

Cristina Afaro, a communications worker for McDonald's in Chicago who came to Washington to hear Obama and learn about his outreach to women, watched at the end of the White House session today as Jarrett and Munoz spoke about legislation that would help women earn more money and about seeking an agenda for "the country" rather than for women separately.

She nodded throughout and applauded at the end, noting that many minority groups "have had unprecedented access" to the administration.

"People feel like they're being heard," she said. "It does make a difference."

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