(CNN) – In another sign of how Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s VP nomination has changed the dynamics of the presidential race, the Obama campaign has rolled out a new ad as part of a larger effort to woo women voters.
The new ad, entitled “Burden,” focuses on the issue of equal pay and targets Sen. John McCain for not supporting legislation that would have made it easier for women to sue for pay discrimination. McCain called the law “too a great a burden on business,” a female announcer says during the 30-second ad that will air in 10 battleground states. “McCain explains away the wage gap by saying women just need more education and training,” the woman’s voice also says.
The proposed bill was a congressional reaction to a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, Ledbetter v. Goodyear, that made it more difficult for women to sue over unequal pay in certain circumstances. As part of the Obama campaign’s increased outreach efforts to women, Lilly Ledbetter, the woman at the center of the case, also endorsed Obama Wednesday. "There is only one candidate who has stood up for women like me. Who has consistently fought to help women who are working hard every day for our families and aren’t being paid fairly,” Ledbetter said in a statement released by the Obama campaign.
Led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, several Democratic women in the House of Representatives also held a press conference Wednesday to showcase their support for Obama. “These people who are saying that they’re not supporting Barack Obama, I suspect that many of them never were supporting Barack Obama and they’re just fronts,” Colorado Rep. Diana Degette, who formerly supported Sen. Hillary Clinton, said in response to a question about whether Clinton supporters will back Obama now that the Republican ticket has a woman on it.
The Obama campaign’s stepped up women’s outreach comes as Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter, announced that she is endorsing McCain and as Sen. Clinton announced she would not attend a pro-Israel rally after learning that Palin would also be at the event.
CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polling earlier this month indicated that a majority of white women supported McCain over Obama both before and after McCain’s selection of Palin. The survey also found that Palin is actually more popular with men than with women.