Here’s the problem with our media in politics. Nate Silver’s analysis of the polls shows a near record national gender gap:
The biggest gender gap to date in the exit polls came in 2000, when Al Gore won by 11 points among women, but George W. Bush won by 9 points among men — a 20-point difference. The numbers this year look very close to that.
Since the first presidential debate in Denver, there have been 10 high-quality national polls that reported a breakout of results between men and women. (I define a “high-quality” poll as one that used live telephone interviews, and which called both landlines and cellphones. These polls will collect the most representative samples and should provide for the most reliable benchmarks of demographic trends.)
The results in the polls were varied, with the gender gap ranging from 33 points (in a Zogby telephone poll for the Washington Times) to just 8 (in polls by Pew Research and by The Washington Post). On average, however, there was an 18-point gender gap, with Mr. Obama leading by an average of 9 points among women but trailing by 9 points among men.
The Associated Press on the same day immediately dismisses the polls in favor of finding a couple of women who don’t like Obama in Virginia.
Then suddenly, a couple of weeks ago, Obama’s edge with women began to melt away. More than any other group, women have accounted for Romney’s surge in the polls, which has now given him a slim lead in the national popular vote and in some calculations of the electoral college. Women, it appeared, were not as firmly ensconced in Obama’s camp as they had seemed. Indeed, they were abandoning the president en masse.
The evidence that Obama finds himself bleeding women’s votes can be seen in how aggressively his campaign has sought to steer the conversation back to women’s issues. Campaigning a few miles from here on Friday, Obama stood at a podium flanked by “Women’s Health Security” banners; he was introduced by Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, and spoke against a backdrop of risers filled exclusively with women, holding turquoise “FORWARD.” signs.
So because President Obama is campaigning for women, the gender gap must be false and women hate him because Shut Up, Horse Race, The Election Has Been Tied All Year.
Unlike their more conservative cohorts, these women agreed that abortion is not any of the federal government’s business. But they also didn’t believe abortion rights were on the line in the coming election. “It has never changed,” Zebib said. “We’ve had pro-life presidents many times, and it didn’t change. It’s a bumper sticker. They try to divert our attention.”
Eileen touched her friend’s arm. “Most women I know, whether they’re for Obama or Romney, they feel the same thing,” she said. “It’s a distraction. That whole Gloria Steinem thing is old.”
Given the makeup of the Supreme Court and the likelihood that liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be the next to retire, it’s possible, even probable, that a Romney presidency would lead to a new court majority hostile to Roe. But with abortion legal for nearly 40 years, these women can’t imagine it being any other way.
There is no war on women, there is no gender gap, there is no reason to seriously believe that Romney is really going to do any of that anti-women stuff. Not to these women. Those laws won’t apply to me, they say. Just those people.
Your uterus is a distraction.