Monday, November 5, 2012

How and Why Women Define the 2012 Presidential Election Outcome

How and Why Women Define the 2012 Presidential Election Outcome

By  | Yahoo! Contributor Network 
How many women make up the electorate?
Fifty-two percent of likely voters are female, while 48 percent are male says Gallup. It is noteworthy that the number of female voters is steadily decreasing by 1 percent over each of the past two elections.
Whose message resonates more with female voters?
An earlier Gallup gender gap analysis highlights that 54 percent of women favor incumbent President Barack Obama, while 46 percent are likely to vote for GOP candidate Mitt Romney. Nevertheless, these figures show a gradual decrease in support for the Democrats, while they denote a slight uptick in support for Republicans. In 2008, 43 percent of female voters favored John McCain, while 57 percent were in favor of then-candidate Obama.
Do women have radically different political needs than men?
Gallup disagrees. While female voters mention abortion, jobs, health care, the economy and equal rights when asked about specific issues important to women in the 2012 presidential election, their issues of importance did not differ significantly from male voters when asked in general terms about important election issues. The major difference between male and female voters is the importancewomen place on health care, which gives President Obama a likely edge.
Why is the female voting bloc unpredictable?
The Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers notes that although women usually vote at higher rates than men do, they make up 60 percent of voters who are still undecided toward the end of October. Yet there is another undercurrent within the female voting bloc that makes it difficult to anticipate how gender will play a role in the presidential election: marital status. Voter Participationhighlights that 39 percent of unmarried women do not register to vote, even though they are eligible to do so.
What turns off female voters?
Concerned Women for America took umbrage at an Obama campaign e-card advising women to "vote like your lady parts depend on it." The Washington Examiner noted that the offending card was deleted by the campaign. The so-called "waitress moms" -- females working out of economic necessity without really getting ahead -- resent that the Romney campaign has promised to undo Obamacare, the New York Times explains.

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