If only women voted, President Obama would be on track for a landslide re-election, equaling or exceeding his margin of victory over John McCain in 2008. Mr. Obama would be an overwhelming favorite in Ohio, Florida, Virginia and most every other place that is conventionally considered a swing state. The only question would be whether he could forge ahead into traditionally red states, like Georgia, Montana and Arizona.
If only men voted, Mr. Obama would be biding his time until a crushing defeat at the hands of Mitt Romney, who might win by a similar margin to the one Ronald Reagan realized over Jimmy Carter in 1980. Only California, Illinois, Hawaii and a few states in the Northeast could be considered safely Democratic. Every other state would lean red, or would at least be a toss-up.
Although polls disagree on the exact magnitude of the gender gap…the consensus of surveys points to a large one this year — rivaling the biggest from past elections.
The gender gap is nothing new in American politics. Since 1972, when exit polling became widespread, men and women split their votes in three elections: 1996, 2000, and 2004. They came close to doing so on several other occasions. In 2008, for example, Mr. Obama won resoundingly among women, beating Mr. McCain by 13 points, but only won by a single point among men.
The biggest gender gap to date in the exit polls came in 2000, when Al Gore won by 11 points among women, but George W. Bush won by 9 points among men — a 20-point difference. The numbers this year look very close to that…
And look what we got? Another war based on lies and corruption.
The gender gap has been growing over time. It was nearly absent, for instance, in 1972 and 1976, the first two years that the exit polls tested it.
But after the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, reproductive rights became a greater focus in presidential elections — particularly under Ronald Reagan in 1980, who was more willing to campaign on the issue of abortion than most of his predecessors. The gender gap jumped to 17 points that year, with men much more likely to vote for Mr. Reagan…
Presidential candidates have faced increasing pressure to align with the bases of their parties on social issues. Mr. Obama reversed his previous position to support same-sex marriage this year. Mr. Romney has long since abandoned a number of moderate stances he took on social issues as governor of Massachusetts, when he said he supported abortion rights. So long as the ideological gap between the parties grows, the gender gap may grow as well.
More so than most articles on the topic, Nate Silver addresses rational behavior by women, irrational reactions by men – based on bigotry and ignorance. I realize this is colored by demographics and economic bands; but, another factor is the Republican Party’s policy of demonstrating as much contempt for women as they have for non-whites.
They apparently think no one notices. Especially women.