MINNEAPOLIS - If you watched both Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention and Ann Romney at the Republican National Convention last week, you might have noticed a similar theme in both speeches - each directly targets women voters.
'"Let me tell you something. I say all of this tonight, not just as First Lady, no, not just as a wife. You see, at the end of the day, my most important title is still mom-in-chief," said First Lady Michelle Obama, with tears in her eyes Tuesday night.
The statement drew standing ovations and cheers. At the new Blast blow dry bar at the West End, Kristin Neafus connected with Michelle Obama's message. She's a single mother who owns several businesses.
"That is near and dear to all of our hearts, our children and our families, our homes, so I think that was a good tactic," said Neafus.
A week ago, Ann Romney also aimed for the heart.
"It's the moms of this nation, single, married, widowed who hold this country together," she said.
University of Minnesota political science professor Kathryn Pearson says both Michelle Obama and Ann Romney successfully humanized their husbands, with themes targeted towards that key female vote. Both women also stressed modest beginnings with financial struggles.
"It did become clear through a comparison of the two speeches that the Obama family can perhaps relate to the struggles of everyday Americans to a greater extent than the Romney family can, but Ann Romney gave a very good speech as well, but you could tell from the reaction in the crowd, it didn't connect quite as powerfully," said Pearson, noting that Mrs. Obama had the given advantage, often polling quite higher than her husband.
Pearson says the style of speech can help sway a swing vote, but neither speech will fundamentally change the election.
"On Nov. 6, voters will be voting for the top of the ticket. Barack Obama or Mitt Romney and not their spouses," said Pearson.
Pearson stressed President Obama overwhelmingly captured the female vote four years ago and needs to clinch the same vote to ensure re-election. She says typically Romney is favored by married women, and needs to narrow that gender gap as well.
"Traditionally there is a gender gap where women are more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate, particularly young and single women," said Pearson. "Women vote at higher rates than men, they comprise a higher share of the electorate. And so the women's vote is critically important but it's not monolithic."
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