One day after President Barack Obama defeated Republican candidate Mitt Romney, securing a second term in the White House and earning support from the majority of Hillsborough County voters, Tampa Bay's female voters reacted to the news with one emotion: Relief.
"My first reaction was, 'Thank God,' said Susan Long, a Seminole Heights civic activist. "We are going to keep health care for young adults and old people. All those things like Planned Parenthood will be there, and reduced cost birth control and cancer screenings, which Mr. Romney wanted to eliminate."
Long, who wore a button for two weeks that said "Women for Obama," said Romney's stance on women's issues should have deterred them from voting for him.
"I don't understand how any woman could have ever voted for Romney," she said.
South Tampa resident Ronna Metcalf, who runs the Life Enrichment Center in Forest Hills, said she was "thankful" for Obama's win.
"I am frankly relieved," she said. "We needed that continuity for another four years to give him (Obama) the opportunity to do things. The economy was already so terrible when Obama took office. It's not humanly possible to go from billions in the hole to prosperity that quickly, essentially with two wars going on."
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