[updated] Democratic Candidates: Enthuse or Lose Dem Women Voters

Update: WaPo’s article from Saturday, “Can Women Save The Democratic Party?” makes similar arguments.

Because the gender gap is favoring Republicans big time.  I’d say that’s what you get for throwing women under the bus but here’s a bit of what the pollsters say:

A Marist poll this month found 48 percent of Republican men called themselves “very enthusiastic” about voting, the most of any group; just 28 percent of Democratic woman said the same, with Republican women and Democratic men falling in the middle.

“Even though women are still more likely to vote Democratic, the poll suggests that they may stay home this year, giving more of the decision making to men by default,” The New York Times wrote in the analysis of its own survey last week. The Times theorized that men’s “anger may be more motivating than the sense of hopelessness expressed by women.”

Analysts cite a political climate that is apparently ineffably male — though the question of cause or effect is beyond the capability of polling.

“In times when the role of government is particularly controversial, you tend to see a particularly large gender gap,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster who has long studied gender and voting. She added that this year’s is “among the bigger gender gaps we’ve seen.”

The Politico article cites several perspectives on why this might be the case. Worth the full read.

My thoughts? Pretty ironic that in what some want to say is the year of the conservative GOP female candidate, male voters may make the difference because women – who tend to vote Dem – aren’t going to vote in as big numbers. It will be interesting to see if that gender gap holds in races with the GOP female candidates like Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, both of whom have been losing ground to Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown, respectively.

That women may not be coming out for the female GOP candidates just because they’re female is a good thing if you ask me – I do not subscribe to the “hold your nose” until we get gender parity philosophy.  And any candidate banking on the opposite to happen will be making the same mistake McCain made with selecting Sarah Palin, thinking that it would bring women voters over, and it didn’t.  By and large, women do not vote for a woman just because she’s a woman.  Every candidate has to bring it, period.

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