Experts say Ann Romney critical to RNC
The headline speaker at the Republican National Convention is Mitt Romney's wife, Ann. But the big question remains: can she help Republicans win the key women's vote? Video by fox4now.comvideo
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press says 29 percent of women voters are undecided, compared to 26 percent in 2008. A critical bloc with the power to shake things up in November.
A lot is riding at the Republican National Convention on First Lady Hopeful Ann Romney.
"It's essential if they don't have the women's vote they're not going to win the election," explained Laura Weir, a professor at Edison State College.
Weir pointed out why Ann Romney's the keynote speaker.
"She's going to be the go-to person who is going to put a softer face on Mitt Romney," added Weir.
And a list of other female powerhouses will share the spotlight, including South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a Tea Party darling; congressional candidate Mia Love whose parents are Haitian immigrants; and First Lady of Puerto Rico Luce Vela.
"They're going to highlight people who represent diversity and what is considered middle America," said Weir.
Last month, Ann Romney appeared on Good Morning America (GMA). She opened up about how her battle with multiple sclerosis could have impacted her husband's campaign.
"You know that was a discussion we had when we decided to go forward because we wouldn't have gone forward if I'd been in an active part of my disease, because it's something i would have needed my husband to be there with me," said Romney to Robin Roberts, a GMA co-host with the exclusive interview.
But some area women question whether Ann Romney can close the gap among single women voters, who typically vote democratic.
"I think she was just raised in a money environment and most people aren't like that," said Barbara Shanaha, of Cape Coral. "People are struggling and i don't know if she can relate to that or not."
While others say Ann Romney's family values will resonate to help her husband win in November.
"She has great morals and standards and ethics and that is the most important thing to me," said Donna Demercado, of Cape Coral.