The gender gap looms large in the upcoming election. Depending on the polls you look at, women support Democrats over Republicans by 10 to 20 percent but that does not necessarily mean the GOP is abandoning the women's vote, especially in the hotly contested 24th Congressional district race.
Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle says she was happy to see GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's wife Ann get center stage at the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay this week.
"Her comments were very uniting for women, and really proposed the idea that the Republican party, her husband and Paul Ryan have solutions. Solutions to the issues that concern all Americans," she said.
Buerkle says women will support candidates who agree with the GOP stand on jobs and the economy.
"That's not a male or a female issue, that's an American issue. The debt and the deficit. Those are American issues, and what we are going to give your kids and grandkids. So I think you focus on those issues, and that's how you get the women voter because that's what they're interested in and that's what they're concerned about," she said.
Buerkle bristles the Democratic claim that the GOP is waging a war on women, and calls the Democrats' focus on traditional women's issues of contraception and abortion a smokescreen to keep the attention off their record on jobs and the economy.
"That's a Democratic tactic, and it's a deflation of their failed record and their failed policies," she said. "And I think that's what they intend to do, they continue to do it whether it's with class, gender or race -- divide and distract. The American people, particularly woman, are far too smart to fall for those deflections."
Buerkle says she will continue to fight for the women's vote. The congresswoman faces a tough re-election run, facing former Democrat Congressman Dan Maffei and Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum in the newly redrawn district, which includes Syracuse and Oswego.