Out of a focus group of 10 “Walmart moms” in Orlando, Florida, eight gave the win to Obama in the third and final presidential debate. One woman gave the win to Romney, and another said she felt as though it was a tie.
The group, which was organized by Public Opinion Strategies and Momentum Analysis and sponsored by Walmart, had mostly positive words for Obama after tonight’s debate: good, focused, honest, strategic.
There was one woman who had a negative reaction — she said that after tonight’s debate she felt “horrible” about Obama. The reason? Tonight, she said, she thought Obama had the opportunity to say something new, but he said the same thing.
“I’m all for something new,” she said. “Don’t blame other people for the last four years.”
On the whole, however, these women thought that it was Obama who appeared to provide the better answers. “I think Obama won this debate. He answered precisely and detailed,” said one woman who identified herself as an immigrant from Cuba.
“I thought he had more solid answers, I thought that he was well-spoken,” said another woman. “I felt like Romney left me with that feeling that he was defensive, it felt more childish, and more stereotypical.”
When asked how they felt about Romney after tonight’s debate, the response was mostly negative. “I think he’s a hypocrite,” said one woman. “Obama called him out on something and he couldn’t… back it up. It’s too all over the place.”
“I think Obama had a lot more real life, realistic experiences. He can relate to the people he’s met on the street, or the people he’s talked to — he makes that effort, he takes that time,” one woman said. “The only thing that I keep thinking about with Romney is a beauty pageant.”
“I think he missed the opportunity that could have been me deciding to say, ‘I’m voting for Mitt Romney,’” another woman said.
Obama scored higher on questions of women’s equality. Overwhelmingly, the women in the group said that they believed Obama addressed the issue of women’s equality much more than Romney. But one woman did voice a complaint about the Democratic party’s messaging throughout the campaign.
“The Obama campaign and Democrats want to act like the most important issues to women are birth control pills and abortion. That’s not what matters to me,” the woman said.
Did the debate “move the needle”? There was a little movement in the room. One of the participants — the woman who said that the debate made her feel “horrible” about Obama — said she’s decided to go with Romney. Another woman who had come into this undecided said that she was “pretty much” going to go with Obama. “He’s more personable,” she said.
But in general, a lot of these women still seemed either undecided, or open to a change of opinion.
What both Romney and Obama apparently failed to do tonight was convince these women that they understand and are addressing their concerns as mothers. When asked if they felt that either candidate was addressing their concerns as parents, the response on the whole was a resounding no.
The women said that they would like to hear more specifics from Romney — what would he cut? What kind of jobs would he create?
With the debates done and Election day just two weeks away, how will these women make this very important decision? The Internet. Google specifically, they said.
“Walmart moms” are defined as women with children ages 18 and under who have shopped at Walmart at least once in the past month.