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The battle for women voters

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Albany/HV: The battle for women voters
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With Rick Santorum out of the running, the fight for the White House is heating up between the man likely to carry the GOP nomination and the president. As our Washington, D.C. reporter Erin Billups explains, the battleground right now are women voters.

UNITED STATES -- A new poll out this week shows Mitt Romney trailing 19 points behind President Obama among women voters. This after weeks of democrats and women's activist groups declaring the GOP has waged a so-called "War Against Women."

"Republicans are focusing on these misogynistic anti-women policies and the women are saying tell us how you're going to put us back to work," said NOW President Terry O’Neill.

Just last week, the White House held a forum for women and the economy.

"Women are not an interest group. You shouldn’t be treated that way," President Obama said.

But it’s clear, women, a key voting bloc, are in the campaign crosshairs. This week, Romney worked overtime to change his perceived narrative on women.

"The real war on women has been waged by the Obama administration's failure on the economy," Romney said.

He met with women business owners on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Romney said, "The progress that was made of more women getting into the workforce has been stepped back 20 years."

Even his wife, Ann Romney, has taken on a more prominent roll, starring in campaign ads and is now at the center of the firestorm as those on the left discredit her credentials to speak for women's concerns.

"His wife has actually never worked a day in her life," democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said.

Rosen has since apologized and clarified her statement.

The White House, meanwhile, is fighting back against Romney's claims, pointing to the first bill the President signed, the Fair Pay Act for women.

“It continues with the emphasis on the need to put teachers back in the classroom. It continues with a variety of programs, including our opposition to the Ryan Republican budget," White House Spokesman Jay Carney said.

Conservatives, though, say the so-called war is a distraction and a disservice to female voters.

"There's this very serious debate going on and in the midst of that liberals have conjured up distractions that are really preventing the serious debate we need about religious liberty," said Jennifer Marshall, Heritage Foundation Domestic Policy Studies Director.

Bringing it back to the genesis of the fight, whether institutions should provide insurance coverage for birth control. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP