8.8 Million more women than men voted in 2004. This is just a simple statistic from the census bureau, but could this fact be a vital indicator of how the 2012 presidential elections will be played out? Women are generally portrayed as tending to vote more democratic, current polls indicate that women are generally more supportive of government programs and are more opposed to military force. All of these facts are true if you look at unmarried women a demographic that is continually on the rise in recent years. In the 2004 statistic mentioned at the beginning of this blog entry the majority of married women supported George W. Bush and did so by more than a 10% margin over Kerry. This “demographic” of married women shifted in 2008, they didn’t support McCain by nearly as large a margin. Now the question for the upcoming general election is how will women vote? And how can the Democratic and Republican parties try to woo women to their side?
One of the most repetitive phrases that have been flung around during this campaign is the so called “War on Women”. In a recent political poll that happened in Pennsylvania, one of the highly prized 2012 swing states Obama was leading by a considerable 6pt margin. This margin is largely contributed to women voters, most importantly women voters who are concerned with the states changing contraception and abortion rights. However, the most important issue concerning this election could be the key to the Republican party wooing back women voters.
Economic issues by far are the most important issue to everyone this election cycle. Economic woes are weighing heavily on women, both married and unmarried. While Romney’s favorability ratings are improving among women both Republican and Independent there is still leeway for both parties to lock down this crucial vote. What is essential now is for both candidates to stop hiding behind closed shutters. They need to clearly lay out their plans on how they will improve the economy. In a number of economic polls people are split on who will be best for the economy, some prefer Romney, while other believe Obama will be better for job creation. Perhaps the best advice for both candidates is not to single out women as a separate voting bloc, instead show them how your plan will provide the things that are of most concern for everyone male or female economic security.