Read this. It’s the best sense on the topic that I’ve read so far. Note this:
The partisan gender gap has been evident in every national election since 1980, when Ronald Reagan essentially settled for a tie with Jimmy Carter among women, while crushing him among men by nearly 20 points. …
A new USA Today/Gallup poll of 12 battleground states shows that Barack Obama actually trails Mitt Romney by 1 point among men. However, among women, the president is ahead by 18… giving him an overall lead of 9 points, 51 to 42 percent, in the battleground venues. …
This is very likely a result of the prominence that contraception and women’s health issues have assumed in the public debate since February, when Republicans revolted against the Obama administration’s efforts to make birth control a mandatory component of health insurance coverage. The way Republicans conducted themselves during that fight… Foster Friess’ aspirin comment, a GOP-convened House committee hearing made up entirely of male witnesses, Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” attack on Sandra Fluke, and the reluctance of top Republicans to loudly condemn him for it… has made it easy for Democrats to claim that they are engaged in a “war on women”. Romney’s own statement last month that “we’re going to get rid of” Planned Parenthood if he’s president and the mandatory ultrasound bill that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell recently signed after a high-profile battle have had the same effect.
This may be a case of history repeating itself. The last Democratic president to stand for re-election, Bill Clinton in 1996, owed his re-election to a massive and decisive gender gap. His campaign against Bob Dole is generally remembered as a sleepy, suspense-less affair, one that Clinton led wire-to-wire and ended up winning by a healthy 8-point margin. And yet, among men, Clinton actually lost to Dole by a point, 44 to 43 percent. It was women, who sided with Clinton by 16 points, who accounted for his lopsided victory. Without the 19th Amendment, Dole would have become the 43rd President of the United States. …
Meanwhile, though, Clinton increased his share of the women’s vote by 10 points. There was no obviously gender-based issue like contraception to account for this, but it seemed that women reacted with particular hostility to the GOP Congress that was elected in ’94 and to the face of that “Republican revolution”, House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In 1995 and ’96, Clinton portrayed himself as the chief defender of the social safety net, attacking Republican efforts to cut Medicare spending and shift federal programmes back to the states. The lopsided gender gap that Clinton opened up in ’96 has persisted by varying degrees in the three elections since… a 22-point difference between the parties in 2000, 14 in 2004, and 12 in 2008. We’ve always known that it would play a role again this year, and it may turn out to be a decisive one.
That’s interesting… all of the GOP’s bellicose rhetoric is meant to appeal to “angry white men”. Does this mean that besides becoming a regional and confessional oddity, the Republicans are going to be a party of “sore white men” outside of its redoubt in the Sectarian South? If so… the 2012 election may prove to be realigning. As for me, I hope that Rush Limbaugh continues his ignorant anti-woman rants and raves. Let him increase them! They’ve woken up a lot of people, and they’re going to wake up more before the election occurs. He’s the best weapon that the Democrats have in their arsenal.
Interesting, ain’t it? One of the loudest and most dirt-dumb misogynists out there has done more than anything else has to awaken women to the dangers inherent in the Republican courtship with the Radical Christian Right. Crazy world, ain’t it… “For a want of a nail, the kingdom was lost”. The Republicans themselves crafted the coming Obama Landslide by not shutting up Rush and the loud “Christian” element. This has scared most women and most honest decent people… we’re going to mark our ballots for the President to avoid a Neo-Fascist theocratic dictatorship all-too-reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale. Oh, one last point before I go… the majority of voices in the blogosphere and in the commboxes are masculine, giving the impression that the Republicans are stronger than they actually are. Why? I don’t know… but the gender imbalance does mean that a skewed and inaccurate picture’s out there. I think that the GOP’s falling for its own propaganda, always a dangerous thing.
When reasoned argument fails, elemental fear does turn the trick. Keep spouting your rubbish, Rush… you’re the ace in the hole of President Obama. Delicious irony, isn’t it?
Tuesday 3 April 2012