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October 22nd, 2012
07:36 AM ET

Romney, Obama court women in final weeks – Ron Brownstein explains

Final preps for the final presidential debate are underway today. President Obama and Mitt Romney will meet for the last time to battle foreign policy issues in Boca Raton, Florida.

With Election Day just 15 days away, polls numbers show that the race is extremely tight. CNN Senior Political Analyst and Editorial Director of the National Journal Ron Brownstein reads the poll 'tea leaves on “Early Start” this morning.

While the debate is exclusively focused on foreign policy, Brownstein says the candidates will likely tie in this debate in their broader campaign narrative and their appeal to women voters.

The latest WSJ/NBC poll shows 47% likely voters choose President Obama for president to 47% for Mitt Romney. “If you’re an incumbent president and you’re at 47 this close to Election Day,” he says, “you’re not feeling so great about that number.”

Also, Brownstein says, President Obama “is only at 36% among white voters in the Wall Street Journal poll,” while Brownstein believes his formula for success in this election is to win 40% of white voters.

The president has also lost ground among white women, Brownstein says. “I think one of the focuses in this debate could very well be to continue that argument for the president by suggesting that Mitt Romney is kind of too quick to kind of rattle the war card” regarding pay equity and access to contraception and Planned Parenthood. “I think for Mitt Romney, the goal has to be to essentially do what he did at the first debate, which is to reassure people that he is a plausible president, especially after that pretty rocky foreign trip this summer.”

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