The Rockin Johnny B

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Doncha just love women?

Doncha just love women?  This in today's paper...

In voting gender gap, men play crucial role

By CONNIE CASS    The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Sorry, fellas, but President Barack Obama’s re-election makes it official: Women can overrule men at the ballot box.     

For the first time in research dating to 1952, a presidential candidate whom men chose decisively — Republican Mitt Romney — lost. More women voted for the other guy.     

But there has been a consistent thread of disagreement for decades over what role the government should play. It’s not a big gap, but it is statistically significant, about 4 percentage points or 5 points in many studies, Kellstedt said. As a group, women tend to like bigger government with more health and welfare programs; men lean toward smaller government that spends less, except on the military.     

Sort of the social safety net versus rugged individualism. Or Obama versus Romney.     

There are lots of possible reasons the genders see this differently.     

Besides women’s traditional role as family nurturers, they also live longer than men and so are more likely to rely on Social Security and Medicare. Women are more likely to be poor. They’re more likely to be single parents struggling to pay for child care, education and medical bills. Men may feel many social programs are expensive and won’t benefit them.     

“Women tend to believe that government has a role to play, that it should be a partner in their life,” said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. “Men tend to think it’s been a good day when the government hasn’t done anything bad to you.” 

It’s surprising it didn’t happen sooner because women have been voting in larger numbers than men for almost three decades, exit polls show.     

But men, who make up less than half the U.S. population, always have exercised power greater than their numbers and they aren’t about to stop now.     

When it comes to elections, males as a group are more influential because they show less party loyalty than women, who skew Democratic.    

Despite all the focus on candidates courting Hispanics or the working class, men are the nation’s ultimate swing voters; they’re why Republican George W. Bush became president and Republican John McCain didn’t.     

Their move away from Obama this year expanded the voting “gender gap.” It wasn’t enough to determine the outcome, but came close.  

So presidential hopefuls staring into the gender gap in 2016 might want to look beyond the usual controversies over “women’s issues” such as abortion or the polling fads such as “Walmart moms.” Maybe it’s time to pause and consider the fickle male. Maybe it’s time to ask, “What do men want?”     

In the voting booth, that is.     

“I don’t think we fully understand it yet,” political scientist Christina Wolbrecht of the University of Notre Dame said about why men and women vote differently. But she said plenty of research on elections going back to the 1950s indicates it’s not because of issues such as equal pay, birth control coverage in health plans or Romney’s awkward reference to “binders full of women.”    

Paul Kellstedt has some ideas. A Texas A&M associate professor of political science, Kellstedt studies what American men and women want from their government and how that shifts over time.     

Like Wolbrecht, he noted that the sexes aren’t that different, at least when it comes to the issues.     

Studies have found that the opinions that separate liberals and conservatives, even on issues such as abortion, don’t divide the sexes much. Men and women are about as likely to fall on either side of those debates, and millions of each happily line up with each political party.     

It goes to prove what I've always said, women are people too.  By that I mean women are no longer in the shadows cooking and cleaning, they are more and more into mainstream politics and need to be accounted for in any upcoming election.  You cannot make stupid errors like talking about "Actual Rape and Fake Rape" or "Binders full of women."  Women cannot be made fun of anymore as being rattled brained or stupid or just plain unfit to run for office or vote.  The Good Ol Boy Network is no longer in power [if it ever was] and women are taking their rightful place in the battleground of state and federal politics.  I say viva la women.  I've always been on your side in social issues.  YOU ROCK!

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