Planned Parenthood Action Fund has spent $1.4 million on anti-Mitt Romney ads in swing states, and so far it seems like money well spent. The TV spot highlights the presumptive Republican nominee's views on abortion and birth control, as well as equal pay, and according to a new poll by Hart Research, Iowa and Florida women who have seen the ads say they are less likely to vote for Romney.
After the ads ran, women in Iowa and Florida, both crucial swing states, were 11 percent more likely to say that Mitt Romney "is out of step with my opinions on issues affecting women." According to the poll, the ads have reached 50 percent of women in Florida and 55 percent in Iowa, and those who saw them reported being far less likely to vote for Romney than women who did not remember seeing them. Before the ads, about 48 percent of women in both West Palm Beach and Des Moines, for example, said Romney was out of touch with their views on abortion and contraception. After, that number jumped to 58 percent.
Using Mitt's own words, Planned Parenthood's ad states: "When Mitt Romney says, 'Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that,' Romney is saying he'll deny women the birth control and cancer screenings they depend on." The Romney campaign has pointed out that Romney favors getting rid of federal funding to Planned Parenthood, not the organization, and Romney has shown support for contraception. Even so, Planned Parenthood's ad implies that Romney could threaten its ability to provide services like birth control and cancer screenings.
Whether or not that is true, at least one Romney advisor doesn't think it will matter. Senior Campaign Advisor Eric Fehrnstrom told ABC's George Stephanopoulos Sunday that birth control and abortion are "shiny objects" meant to distract voters from real issues. On the subject, he said, "You're going to see the Democrats use all sorts of shiny objects to distract people's attention from the Obama performance on the economy. This is not a social issue election." The success of Planned Parenthood's ads, however, might suggest otherwise.
To see how Mitt Romney's stances on women's issues have evolved, check out our guide: Then and Now: Mitt Romney's Positions on Reproductive Rights.