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To arrange a media interview with Ellie Smeal or other spokespersons at Feminist Majority Foundation, contact the FMF media department at 703-522-2214.


Date: September-29-04
Contact: Erin Carmany
Phone: (703) 522-2214

It's the Women, Stupid!

New Issue of Ms. Magazine Features Gender Gap and Election Analysis

Washington, DC The new issue of Ms. magazine hit newsstands yesterday, featuring gender gap analysis by Eleanor Smeal, publisher of Ms. magazine and president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

In United States elections, women count or, to be more precise, women count more. On November 2, 2004, some 8 million more women than men will vote, writes Smeal. Magnifying womens voting clout is the gender gap the measurable difference in the way women and men vote for candidates and in the way they view political issues.

Despite reports that the gender gap has narrowed nationwide, the gender gap is still the deciding factor in many battleground states. In key state after key state, Zogby (September 13-17) has found a sizable gender gap, ranging from 10 to 20 points in most battleground states. For example, according to Zogby, Kerry is winning in Minnesota with a 20-point gender gap, in Oregon with an 18-point gender gap, and in New Mexico with a 15-point gender gap. According to Quinnipiac University (September 16), Kerry is winning in Pennsylvania with a 10-point gender gap.

Although the media is talking about security moms, dont be fooled, said Smeal. Security moms, like its predecessor soccer moms, is just spin that deemphasizes the gender gap. Everywhere the term appears in the media, there is only anecdotal evidence, not data, backing it up. We have Googled and researched the term security moms and found it is currently being pushed by right-wing pollsters and commentators. These latest efforts began in July, although it first appeared as early as 2002.

Not only do women make up the majority of the electorate (women were 54 percent of voters in 2000, with men at only 46 percent), but they also make up the majority of undecided voters. In some battleground states, women make up an even greater percentage of undecided voters. For example, in West Virginia, according to Zogby, women are more than 70 percent of the undecided voters.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, Its up to the women, writes Smeal. Never has it mattered so much.

For more on the gender gap and the 2004 election, visit

Eleanor Smeal was the first to discover the gender gap in 1980 and popularized its usage in election and polling analyses to enhance womens voting clout.