Historic Gender Gap Rules: Women’s Votes decisive in Presidential and Senate Races

President Barack Obama won re-election with 55% of women’s votes and 45% of men’s votes for a decisive and historic 10% gender gap, according to CNN exit polls. This is the second largest gender gap in Presidential voting recorded by exit polls, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. The largest was in 1996 for Bill Clinton. If only men had voted, Mitt Romney would have won 52%-44%.
Very large gender gaps also determined the outcome of many Senate races and the Democratic majority in the Senate. Key Senate races where the gender gap made an impact are:


    • Chris Murphy (D-CT) defeated Linda McMahon (R), despite her spending tens of million of dollars with an 11% gender gap with 60% of women’s votes to 49% of men’s votes;


    • Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) won with a 12% gender gap with 59% of women’s votes and only 47% of men’s votes;


    • Martin Heinrich (D-NM) won with a 6% gender gap with 54% of women’s votes and 48% of men’s votes;


    • Sherrod Brown (D-OH) won with an 8% gender gap with 56% of women’s votes and 48% of men’s votes;


    • Bob Casey (D-PA) won with a 9% gender gap with 58% of women’s votes and 49% of men’s votes; and


    • Tim Kaine (D-VA) won with a 7% gender gap with 56% of women’s votes and 49% of men’s votes.

If only men had voted in each of these senate races, according to exit polls, the Republican would have won and the Senate majority would be Republican.

“The problem Republicans have with women is deep and costly,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority. “The attacks on women’s rights through restricting access to abortion and birth control, opposing equal pay legislation, advocating for privatization of Medicare and slashing Medicaid funding, and the demeaning of women by ignorant and offensive comments regarding rape and the attempt to weaken the Violence Against Women Act all add up to a widely perceived Republican War on Women.”

Media Resources: Feminist Majority 11/7/2012; CNN 11/7/2012

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