On Tuesday, the Obamas will take on daytime television with an appearance on The View. During the last election cycle, Obama's appearance generated the highest ratings for the program ever. The campaign can expect a lot of women to be watching.
The cast -- Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, Barbara Walters, and Whoopi Goldberg -- provides a representative cross-section of American female voters. Hasselbeck supports some conservative issues and introduced Sarah Palin at a Republican rally in 2008. Joy Behar represents the views of many women in the Democratic base. The remaining three women fall somewhere in between but lean liberal.
Women are a key demographic for both campaigns and recent polls show that overwhelmingly, women favor President Obama. Below are five campaign issues and which candidate the women of The View would likely support.
1. Gay Marriage (Obama 5, Romney 0): Obama's endorsement of gay marriage resonates not just with conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck, but also with women in general. Polling shows that more women support gay marriage than men. All five hosts support gay marriage.
2. Abortion (Obama 4, Romney 1): Women's rights issues split the women of The View, but overall, Obama comes out ahead of Romney on abortion. Hasselbeck, a measured opponent of abortion, would probably side with Romney's opposition. Overall, however, the fight for abortion rights is the primary issue for only a small percentage of women voters, despite its prominent role in the Obama campaign.
3. Economic Policy (Obama 3, Romney 1, Undecided 1): On economic policy, women remain divided. Some women think the president didn't go far enough while others are not comfortable with continuing government intervention. Although women voters present nuanced perspectives on the economy, voters’ ideas about the economy will probably determine the election.
4. Foreign Policy (Draw): Foreign policy has played a small role in the president's re-election campaign and Romney's campaign probably wish it would go away entirely after his Libya gaffe. Foreign policy issues will probably not play a pivotal role in this election cycle.
5. Health Care (Obama 4, Romney 1): Again, Hasselbeck is the only vocal opponent of President Obama's healthcare legislation because she thought the law went too far in mandating health insurance coverage. Co-host Whoopi Goldberg compared the mandate to the requirement to purchase auto insurance.