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October 20, 2010

Where Da White Women At? Women Now Splitting Almost Evenly Between GOP and Democrats

It's not women per se, I don't think -- it's specifically white women, and important group, since there are so many of them.

Democrats have long counted on not losing the white vote all that much because white women would offset, mostly, white men's preference for the GOP.

Not this year.


In the House races, where women have sided with Democrats by an average of nine points since 1976, they are now about evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. That is a sharp drop-off from just four years ago, when women chose Democrats by a large 12-point margin and put them in the majority.

Of course, the news is not good for Democrats almost everywhere - and certainly much worse among white men, who are embracing Republican candidates by a greater proportion than ever before. But the women matter more: As a whole, men lean Republican, while women usually act as a counterbalance for Democrats.

"Women are not a shrinking piece of the electorate. They're a shrinking piece of the Democratic pie," Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, said, refuting the notion that female voters are simply unmotivated like the rest of the Democratic base. Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster, said Democrats are seeing an erosion with women who did not attend college, especially because of the economy.

"They do not think the administration's economic policies are working for their families, and worry about the priorities of this administration, and wonder if they get it," Lake said.

To counteract the trend, Democrats have released a torrent of gender-based negative ads in recent weeks - attacking male Republican House candidates for bad behavior, underscoring Republican candidates' opposition to legalized abortion and other women's health issues, and, in the Kentucky Senate race, airing an ad that asks, among other things: "Why did Rand Paul once tie a woman up?"

...

Democrats argue that the gender gap in their favor isn't disappearing but simply becoming less of a sure thing.

This is big.


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posted by Ace at 03:47 PM

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