Is a person’s vote determined by their race and gender? The left often thinks so. It is the norm for liberals to claim the black vote, the Latino vote, and— especially in this election—the woman vote. Madeline Albright, President Clinton’s Secretary of State, recently stated that she can’t understand why any woman would vote conservative, “frankly, I don’t understand — I mean, I’m obviously a card-carrying Democrat — but I can’t understand why any woman would want to vote for Mitt Romney, except maybe Mrs. Romney.”
Throughout the 2012 campaign, liberals constantly reiterate that the Democratic Party is the only vehicle for American women to get what they want: the ability to sue their employers for equal pay, abortions on demand, and government-provided contraceptives. As the campaign tweeted on August 27th, “Make sure the women in your life know: The GOP wants to take us back to the 1950s in women’s health.” The left is unambiguous in at least one regard: they believe that women care about different issues than men.
Liberals have even gone so far as to deny that conservative politicians truly care about women at all. Cory Booker, major of Newark, New Jersey, had strong words for conservatives who oppose abortion and claim to care about women. He said it is “like saying I love Latinos because I eat at Taco Bell.” Liberals seem to have no qualms about telling women what they should believe about their bodies and how this should affect their vote.
The female vote is crucial for the left. They were a major factor in President Obama’s victory. In the 2008 election, 8 million more women voted than men. And 56 percent of them voted Democrat, 13 points over women who voted Republican. In the tight 2000 Bush/Gore race, Gore won women by 11 points. In 2004, Kerry lost by a larger margin when he won women by a paltry 3 points. Appealing to women in any campaign is a must, but it is a necessity for the left.
The arguments the left has pitched women this year are working well for them: though the national polls are even, Democrats still lead Republicans by 8 points among women. Will the liberals walk away with the 15 point lead that they had in 2008? Are the liberals correct that abortion and contraceptive rights are the key issues for women in 2012?
Women always matter in elections, but with the 2012 race tied up, they have a remarkable weight in this election. The real question is what matters to women. Conservatives are betting that men and women are struggling with the same concerns and will respond to their message about those issues.
As much as commercials focus on abortion and contraceptives, these may not be the issues that women will vote on in 2012. A poll conducted by Lifetime Television found that “Jobs and the economy are the top voting issues for women in the 2012 elections. This is true across disparate demographic and political groups. Health care and education are women’s second and third priorities, respectively.”
In fact, though the Lifetime poll discovered many women still preferred Obama to Romney, they found that a majority of the women were insulted by the constant attention to abortion and contraception. Celinda Lake, who conducted the poll for Lifetime, reported: “Women want to know, why are we talking about this at all? Why aren’t we focusing on the economy?”
This is what politicians should know as they reach out to women: women care about the same economic and social issues men care about. The Wall Street Journal reported on the Romney strategy to turn out the female vote: focus on the 8.3% unemployment. It’s the same message they are communicating to men. When asked about which women might vote conservative, Kirsten Kukowski of the Republican National Committee answered, “the millions of American women unemployed, underemployed, or constantly worrying about filling the gas tank or putting food on the table.” Of course, many women who are struggling will doubtless decide to vote for liberal candidates.
The truth is that both men and women have a stake in every issue. Some politicians and pundits suggest that women will vote only on social issues (and only vote one way) and ignore the other major issues on the table — such as the economy with its 8.3% unemployment, the mess of our healthcare system, declining education standards – but they are mistaken.
While the left and right have contrasting visions for America, those visions are not uniquely male or female. American citizens are not presorted by gender.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | James Velasquez
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond