Obama's campaign is also seeking to motivate suburban women in northern Virginia by branding the efforts of state Republicans to tighten abortion laws as part of a "war on women." GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell recently signed a law requiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, and Republicans in the House of Delegates pushed a so-called personhood bill that would have given embryos rights.
"We can see what is happening. We as women are under attack," said Jean Cunningham, a co-chairwoman of the state's Women for Obama effort and a former member of the state House of Delegates. On Monday, she addressed more than 500 women at the campaign's office in a shopping center in West Falls Church.
It's no surprise women are top targets in the state. The gender gap is pronounced. A new Washington Post poll shows Obama leading Romney 56% to 38% among women in Virginia. An earlier ABC News/Washington Post survey showed Obama leading Romney among women by a similar margin nationwide. Overall, Obama leads 51% to 44% in Virginia.
Cunningham, as she fired up the crowd, listed the leaders in the "war on women." Virginians topped the list: McDonnell, U.S. Senate candidate George Allen and Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli at the top. And Romney was at the bottom.
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Memoli reported from Richmond, Va., Parsons from Warren, Ohio, and Hennessey from Washington.