Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Shootout At Gender Gap

We're zeroing in on an issue today that's both important to everyone on our staff and is an issue that we find some of our Republican friends are in denial about.

Specifically, some of our male Republican friends.

There's been a lot of discussion in the politically focused media lately about how the gender gap will affect the outcomes in the 2012 election. We, and many others, feel this discussion is more than warranted, especially in light of the anti-women laws and anti-women acts in the media that have been surprisingly and disgustingly regular over the last year - and especially the last few months.

Of course, American women don't vote in one monolithic bloc, any more than Hispanics, Gay Americans, or any other category of Americans all vote the same. Still, when you have one of America's two major political parties being so insulting - and sometimes outwardly hostile - to one of the largest groups of voters, over a sustained period of time, it's not really surprising that the GOP has such a daunting breach to reach across in this year's elections.

In short, that chasm is the gender gap in American politics that some - especially on the corporatist right - almost want to claim doesn't exist anymore.

The gender gap does indeed exist, though. A recent Pew poll confirmed - the gender gap between large generic groups of men and women, that's lasted for over thirty years, continues even today. In general, American women continue voting significantly more for Democratic candidates, while some demographic groups of men - especially those with less education, or those with significant amounts of money - lean more heavily towards voting for Republicans.

We're aware that recent polls by Pew Research, USA Today/Gallup, and even Quinnipiac University, all identified similar gaps between men and women, that favor Democratic candidates. Both nationally and in swing states, Democrats also keep looking better heading into the fall, in poll after poll.

The gender gap doesn't quite look like some liberals think it should, however. Some liberals appear to be thinking that all of the GOP's anti-woman rhetoric and actions will push more female voters to automatically vote Democratic - and we just don't think that's true. From some of the female Republican voters we know, the GOP's anti-woman positions have made them less likely to vote in ANY election this year.

That may not be the kind of voter windfall the Democratic Party was hoping on for this year, or the kind of voter exodus Republican Party leadership have been fearing. After all, "losing the women's vote" doesn't mean that NO woman is going to vote for you.

It DOES mean a lot of them won't, though.

In a time when competitive elections are more likely than ever to be decided by a small number of votes, doing things that drive down the enthusiasm of those more likely to vote for your candidate, party, or position, is effectively blowing massive numbers of holes in your own political party's chances for victory.

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