Jackie Gingrich Cushman

The issues most often cited as very important by women after the economy were jobs (86 percent), health care (80 percent), education (79 percent) and the budget deficit (72 percent).

Of the 18 issues included in the survey, abortion ranked 15th, with 44 percent of women saying it was very important. Birth control ranked 17th, with 40 percent of women saying it was very important.

Women are more likely than men to pay the household bills, acting as their families' chief financial officers. They also act as the chief medical officers, controlling $2 of every $3 spent on health care. This might explain why more women (80 percent) than men (69 percent) indicated that health care was very important to their vote. Women, more than men, control the decisions for how the dollars are spent for health care.

This same survey noted that men supported presumed GOP candidate Mitt Romney over Obama (50 percent to 44 percent), while women supported Obama over Romney (53 percent to 40 percent).

This juxtaposition of very important issues and candidate preference is perplexing. President Obama has had four years to address the issues of the economy, jobs and health care, and these issues have not been resolved. The economy is stuck in an anemic recovery, sputtering forward slowly but not surely. According to Gallup, 17 percent of our workforce is underemployed. This represents people who are either unemployed or working part-time, when they would like to be working full-time. This is a vast natural resource that we need to be able to tap to grow our economy.

This fall, women need to understand that, while men might be more visible in the political public arena, women are more likely to vote. And, based on the 2008 experience, they will likely make up of the majority of the voters in the battleground states.

If Republicans want to win this fall, they will need to clearly communicate to women why their candidate is the best candidate to address the very important issues that women care about.

It's the economy; it's jobs. Without a robust economy and without jobs, it's hard for anyone to get ahead.


Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.