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SD Women Talk About Presidential Campaign

August 29, 2012, 5:56 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

SD Women Talk About Presidential Campaign
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Both political parties are vying for the votes of women in November.

The importance of female voters is a big theme at this year's Republican National Convention and was highlighted Tuesday night by Ann Romney's speech.

A CBS News poll released Tuesday shows why there is so much emphasis on women voters in this election.  Right now, Mitt Romney is leading President Barack Obama when it comes to men by nearly ten points - 49 percent to 40 percent.  But when it comes to women, it’s just the reverse.  President Obama leads Romney by ten points – 51 percent to 41 percent.

That's why the first big night of the Republican National Convention put the spotlight on women. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley took the podium shortly before Ann Romney walked on stage and gave a speech that keyed in on the issues facing the women of America.

"It's the moms of this nation, single, married, widowed, who really hold this country together. We're the mothers. We're the wives. We're the grandmothers. We're the big sisters. We're the little sisters and we're the daughters," Romney said.

And that speech still had some of the more than 900 women at the Women's Unite event in Sioux Falls talking on Wednesday.

"She really approached women. She approached women in a wonderful way from all spectrums," Sioux Falls voter Anne Hajek said.

The women at the Wednesday event say that it’s encouraging that the campaigns are now pushing their issues to the forefront.

"I'm just very excited to see both conventions and what both sides seem to offer women and I'm very excited about it," voter Marley Prunty-Lara said.

Women say if the candidates can connect with them, they can connect with all voters.

"We should not separate women, men issues; these are people issues. There are single dads; there are single moms. There are young sons taking care of their elderly parents as there are women. It's an emphasis we need to have on the person and so once we can move away from the gender issues and bring it back to a people issue, I think it's progressed a long, long way," Hajek said.

But seeing women center stage on the national stage is something that can help inspire young women.

"Really focusing on women, we've come a long way.  And being able to see women in leadership in both parties and really being competent individuals is really an excellent role model for young girls," Prunty-Lara said.

During the last presidential election, Obama had a big edge in the women vote, but not men because he only edged out John McCain by one point.

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