Social issues still a factor for local voters in presidential race

With the economy on a slow mend, some voters on Tuesday said they allowed social issues to weigh more heavily in deciding who should be president for the next four years.

For Kika Martin, a 43-year-old entrepreneur and producer, positions taken by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on women’s issues precluded him from getting her vote.

"I definitely don’t see him representing a woman like myself," she said outside a polling station in Burbank.

Romney wants the Supreme Court to overturn its Roe vs. Wade decision, which guaranteed a woman's right to get an abortion through the first six months of her pregnancy. President Obama supports Roe vs. Wade.

Romney also has pledged to stop federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood.

Those efforts have complicated his campaign’s efforts to curry favor among female voters. But in the job creation department, Romney’s past experience in the private sector resonated with some voters.

Gerald Rettke, a 76-year-old retiree who voted for Romney, said job creation should be the No. 1 priority. Obama, he said, had failed to deliver enough in that department during his term in office.

"Obama hasn't done it," he said.

But with unemployment improving slightly, and consumer confidence on the rise, some voters were willing to cut the president some slack.

Jaime Britt, an insurance manager, said Obama’s handling of the economic crisis had been "as good as it gets."

Susan O'Hara, 48, is finance manager for an affordable housing developer. She recently moved to Burbank from the Petaluma area because her husband lost his job. He was able to get a new one, but it's in Pasadena.

Her job is letting her work off-location.

Despite the financial turbulence her family's weathered, social issues played more of a role when it came to O'Hara’s vote because she said she feels the nation is slowly moving toward an economic recovery.

And with both presidential candidates pledging to push the economy forward, O'Hara said she felt the biggest divides were on the social issues.

"I felt the social issues could be impacted more than the economy. I don't want Obamacare taken away. I like it,” she said, referring to Romney’s campaign pledge to repeal the federal healthcare overhaul bill.


Central issues of Election 2012

Presidential campaign winds down with battleground state visits

-- Brittany Levine and Jason Wells, Times Community News

Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.


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