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2008 Election Analysis: Gender Gap Delivers

Women’s votes delivered the electoral votes of New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado, and Indiana to Barack Obama and elected several Democratic U.S. Senators. Overall 56% of women and only 49% of men voted for Barack Obama—a solid 7% gender gap. But because of Obama’s widespread appeal a majority of men as well as women voted for Obama in 23 states with enough electoral votes to win.

In the Senate Races, women’s votes elected Jean Shaheen (D-NH) over anti-choice Republican incumbent John Sununu; 60% of women and only 45% of men voted for Shaheen–for a whopping 15% gender gap. Victor Kay Hagan (D-NC) enjoyed a solid 8% gender gap (55%-47%) which produced her win over incumbent anti-choice Senator Elizabeth Dole.

“Women’s votes produced decisive results in several US Senate races this election cycle. If only men would have voted Senators Sununu (R-NH) and Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) would have won,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority and first observer to identify the gender gap in voting in 1980.

See a full analysis of the gender gap and election results here.

Feminist Majority Foundation; Interview with Eleanor Smeal 11/10/08

Sources:

Feminist Majority Foundation; Interview with Eleanor Smeal 11/10/08