CNN Questions Santorum's Appeal to Women Voters Given His 'Ultra-Conservative' Positions

CNN's Zoraida Sambolin questioned Rick Santorum's appeal with women voters nationwide as she targeted his "ultra-conservative" positions that "some women don't relate to," on Wednesday's Early Start.

Sambolin challenged Santorum's success among women voters in the deep south by noting that nationwide he lags behind President Obama in a recent poll of women voters.

"But he [Santorum] has some ultra-conservative stances there that some women don't relate to," Sambolin insisted. Would she be willing to admit that the recent HHS birth control mandate is a liberal policy that "some" women would find offensive?

Before Sambolin interjected, her guest Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America had made that very point. "If you look at the CBS/New York Times polling, though, over what the President did on the HHS mandate, not even women supported him on that," she stated.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on March 14 on Early Start at 5:35 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN: All right. Penny, you endorse Santorum, and you're a woman. So, I want to get your reaction to this. Santorum won the vote of women last night. So, let's take a look at it. In Alabama, he won 38 percent of the vote, in Mississippi 35 percent. But overall, southern states are more conservative, and if you look at the latest New York Times/CBS poll, women voters, 50 percent of them go to Obama to Santorum's 40 percent. Is this going to be a looming problem ahead as we go to less conservative states?

PENNY NANCE, conservative commentator: I don't think so. Actually, you know, Rick, as you said, did very, very well with women and very well with the youth vote. Right now, the candidates in the Republican primary are taking it to each other. They need to take the fight to Obama. If you look at the CBS/New York Times polling, though, over what the President did on the HHS mandate, not even women supported him on that.

So, the new rhetoric from the Obama campaign has been now reaching out to women. They realize I think, that they blew it last week. You're going to see more work for women, but you know, I think this is not a race yet against Obama. When Santorum takes it to Obama, I think he'll do very well.

Women view him as being very authentic. He's a family man. He's someone that – very relatable. He's the Wal-Mart candidate. And that's what --

(Crosstalk)

SAMBOLIN: But he has some ultra-conservative stances there that some women don't relate to.

NANCE: Yes. In married women, when you break it out – women are not monolithic. You know that. Women are – we can't just be one segment. Married women do – Santorum does very well with married women and women with children. So, you know, it's not one or the other. I think you're going to see him do very well overall with women when it comes down to a vote between he and Barack Obama.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014