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Why the Gender Gap Won’t Matter in This Election: The gender gap doesn’t matter—and it never has
The Daily Beast ^ | October 29, 2012 | Linda Hirshman

Posted on 10/29/2012 3:18:47 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

You always know the Democrats are in big trouble when the media starts harping on the gender gap. This time it’s “gender gap near historic highs.” Repeat after me: so what? Even when that gap hit its historic high of 20 points, with Al Gore’s near miss in 2000, it didn’t actually put him in the White House. The discussion hit a low point when TV star Lena Dunham and a bunch of her math-challenged friends made a viral video this week off Lesley Gore’s pop classic “You Don’t Own Me” to convince women to support Obama. The video features a claim that “women were 60 percent of the voters” last time. If that were true, women might matter. But in fact women came in around 53 percent of voters in 2008. Maybe math is hard, but in elections, numbers matter.

Bulletin: Women don’t elect a president the guys don’t want. They simply don’t vote for the Democrat in high enough numbers to offset the testosterone tsunami for the GOP. Since the tide turned against them in 1968, Democrats have elected a president only when they were able to hold the male support for the Republican to roughly 50 percent. The same happened in 1992 and 2008, when Bill Clinton and Barack Obama actually won (narrowly) among men. Even in 1996, when, arguably, women voted for Clinton and men did not, men supported Clinton by only 1 point less than his opponent, Bob Dole. In exit polls, that’s called the margin of error. Although Founding Father John Adams’s uppity wife, Abigail, told him he’d better include women in the new nation, they did not “foment a rebellion,” as she warned they would. It took them almost 150 years to get the vote, and for 60 years after that, they voted mostly the way their men did. In 1980—cue the trumpets—women voted more for the Democratic candidate than men did. There’s been a gender gap in every presidential election since. And it has meant as little as Abigail’s hollow threat.

A big part of the reason why the gender gap looks so much more promising for the Dems than it turns out to be is that 2 or more points of that advantage are actually attributable to race. African-American women vote in larger numbers than African-American men do; the women’s vote is simply blacker than the men’s. But the pundits have already counted the race advantage in their forecasts. So piling talk of the gender gap on top of race is, well, double dipping. In electoral terms, the only gender gap that matters is between white men and women, the largest segment of the actual electorate. In one of the latest big polls, Obama’s support among white women is down a couple of points since 2008, from 46 percent to 44 percent. But he’s down among white men by 9 percentage points, falling from 41 percent against John McCain to 32 percent against Mitt Romney. (A second, recent poll from AP denies any gap, but that appears to be a radical outlier at the moment.) It looks like a gender gap, all right, but not one that helps the president. Forget the ladies. If Obama can’t stanch the bleeding among white men, no Florence Nightingale is coming to bind up the wound.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: gender; obama; polls; romney

1 posted on 10/29/2012 3:18:48 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Women’s votes do make a differece. However, it is the SHIFT in votes that actually make the difference. This shift is what tipped the balance to Bush in 2004 (enough women shifted against Kerry).

This article makes no sense.

There are more women of voting age than men of voting age.
Millions more women are REGISTERD to vote than are men.
Millions more women actually vote compared to men.

So either way it goes, the women vote is very important ... but it is the shift in votes that makes the impact.

I agree with the article that the shift doesn’t always go the way the Democrats hope. It didn’t in 2004.

I also agree that in THIS election the shift in the male vote is probably going to make the differece.

2 posted on 10/29/2012 3:51:02 PM PDT by Lorianne (fedgov, taxporkmoney)
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To: Lorianne
The difference is: The gender gap among men is real. The "gender gap" among women IS NOT. The gender gap among women is caused (almost entirely) by a net +10 - 11 points that Democrats receive from black females. The gender gap among men is MUCH larger, and is so large that it swamps a net +8.5 - 9.5 net that the Democrats receive from black men.

This is why Hillary could not win the nomination in 2008, and why she and her husband are doing their best to pretend they support 0bama now. Without the black vote going 90% for Democrats, no Democrat can win any statewide or national election. Race trumps everything in the Democrat Party, and a dowdy old white woman -- even with the support of a wave of nostalgia for her lecherous husband -- cannot win the Democrat nomination without enormous support from the black vote.

There's a small additional bump among single females who aren't black. It wouldn't change the outcome of any election.

3 posted on 10/29/2012 4:06:30 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Now, slow response time on FR, yeah, that depresses me...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Its one of those fairy tales the MSM spins every four years to convince themselves that a Democratic presidential candidate can be elected without majority white male support.

The numbers don’t work that way and women can’t make it up for the Left. The “gender gap” is just that - a media-manufactured myth that never influences in the slightest an election outcome.

4 posted on 10/29/2012 4:26:14 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved FrieGrnd Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Uh huh. The Daily Beast claims the gender gap doesn’t mean a thing. And of course, the debates were going to have no effect as the election was “already over!”

TRANSLATION: The leftist Daily Beast is beside itself with worry over the shrinking lead Barry has among females! Romney’s lead with males is big and growing.
BUT, pay no attention cause none of it REEEEELY matters!!

5 posted on 10/29/2012 4:33:46 PM PDT by Oldpuppymax
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To: FredZarguna

I don’t really buy that and here’s why.
Blacks are 13% of the population and historically a lower percentage of blacks are even registered to vote ... not mention whether they show up at the polls.

2008 was an anomoly of course. Blacks did register in significant enough numbers and did vote in significant enough numbers ... but so did young people who also historically don’t register to vote and don’t vote in high numbers (except in 2008). The additional voters in many groups (blacks, latino, young, even asian) in 2008 offset the traditional impact of women’s vote ... in that year.

But, women still have the largest voting block overall, and especially compared to men.

In 2000, 7.8 million more women voted than men did.
In 2004, 8.8 million more women voted than men did.
In 2008, 10 million more women voted than men did.

Fewer blacks, Hispanics registered to votes (sic)

6 posted on 10/29/2012 4:49:54 PM PDT by Lorianne (fedgov, taxporkmoney)
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To: Lorianne

Those are pretty interesting statistics. The real gender gap seems to exist when considering single women vs. married women/men. Do you know anything about how that affects the over all gender gap?

7 posted on 10/29/2012 5:05:31 PM PDT by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughters of Freedom, Committee of Correspondence)
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To: Lorianne
The percentage of blacks who voted in 2008 was 65% of registrants, which was only 5% larger than in 2004. That is not significantly different from the national average.

The gender gap has nothing to do with how many women vote; and that is ALL that your numbers show. It has to do with whether a larger percentage of women vote for Democrats than men. It is largely a myth for the reasons I've given you.

Black females are "ONLY" 13% of the population. In Presidential years, if 60% of them vote (as I just quoted to you and that 60% is very close to the 62.8% participation rate of the national average) then participation is a wash. Next: 90% of them vote for the Democrat, that guarantees a 13 * (.9 - .1) = 13 * 0.8 = 10.4% edge for the Democrat among women only voters. And that is with about 2-3 points of the entire "gender gap."

Please notice whom the Democrats target in their ads: SINGLE women. The largest single identifiable block of single women across ALL age groups is ... black.

In fact, among married women there is a gender gap that typically -- not always, but typically -- favors the GOP.

8 posted on 10/29/2012 5:07:43 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Now, slow response time on FR, yeah, that depresses me...)
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To: FredZarguna

You’re repeating what I’ve said.

The importance of the women’s vote is in the SHIFT. In 2004 there was a 7% shift in the women’s vote towards the republican candidate (Bush) compared to 2000. That shift made the difference in a very tight race.

Black females are not 13% of the population. All blacks are 13% of the population, men + women. So black women are 7.5% of the population and not all of them vote. I would guess at best black women constitute around 5% of the overall vote. So I don’t think they are a significant voting block.

The overall numbers of women who voted is important because without the sheer numbers, the SHIFTS wouldn’t have an impact. It is the shifts that can sway an election in a tight race ... example 2004.

In 2008 the shift was back to democratic but that was muted by all the new first time voters in 2008 (blacks, latinos, asian, young) that hadn’t historically until 2008 voted. It would have been muted either way for the same reason.

9 posted on 10/29/2012 6:22:56 PM PDT by Lorianne (fedgov, taxporkmoney)
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To: Lorianne
You’re repeating what I’ve said.

No, I'm NOT. I'm not even remotely close to repeating what you've said, because it's nonsense.

And you are not paying attention to what you replying to, either in the article or my comment.

The "gender gap" legend promulgated by the MSM is the disparity between the percentage of WOMEN voting for Republicans versus the percentage of WOMEN voting for Democrats. Neither male voters, nor the general population of voters is involved in this gap. So, your numbers make no sense there whatsoever.

The participation rate for black females is nearly the same as for the general population (General Pop: 62.8%. Blacks: about 60% in 2004, and 65% in 2008.) Therefore, you're multiplying 13% by your hypothetical participation rate, and then multiplying it again by 1/2 MAKES NO SENSE. You would also have to multiply the WHITE female vote by the white female participation rate, and multiply THAT by 1/2 ALSO.

But there is no reason to do either of those two things, because as long as you stay in a female cohort with similar participation, those factors are applied to ALL subdivisions. They will simply come out in the wash.

Finally, your SHIFT theory is baloney. There is no SHIFT. White women vote about 50-50 for Republicans and Democrats. And white married women do NOT vote any numbers that are significantly different from their husbands. There is plenty of research on this. That is what this author is pointing out, I am agreeing with him, I am supplying some numbers to back that up. And you ... are mistaken. Now, this is BASIC arithmetic, but if you don't understand the numbers, that's fine, even so, I cannot be agreeing with you if I say that you are mistaken.

Here's a fact for you: in 1952 Eisenhower got 30% of the black vote. In 2004, Bush got 9%. If Bush had gotten the same percentage as Eisenhower, John Kerry would not have carried a single state, including Massachusetts.

10 posted on 10/29/2012 7:27:34 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Now, slow response time on FR, yeah, that depresses me...)
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To: FredZarguna

The shift in women’s votes, even can make a big difference in a tight race. It did in 2004 when there was a 7 point shift in the women’s vote compared to 2000. There is plenty of research on this. If you’ve got a 7% shift in a large cohort, and the other large cohorts (men, all minorities) stays the same (as it did in 2004) then the women’s voted shift was the decididing factor.

The shift in the women’s vote is not always a factor. For example it wouldn’t have been a factor in 2008.

You were counting black WOMEN as 13% of the overall population. They are not. You also don’t know what the percentage of black women of voting age actually vote. But even if it the 60% ... that is still a small percentage of the overall electorate ... ergo black women’s vote is not decisive.

The overall women’s vote can be decisive, if the race is close.

11 posted on 10/30/2012 1:19:24 PM PDT by Lorianne (fedgov, taxporkmoney)
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To: Lorianne
The shift in women’s votes, even can make a big difference in a tight race.

Does the word "duh?" mean anything to you? That is true of any group in a tight race. Muslims, Jews, people who eat oatmeal, those who clip their toenails once a month vs. bi-monthly...

You were counting black WOMEN as 13% of the overall population. They are not.

Oh Lord. You just can't do basic math or reading, can you? The gender gap doesn't use the whole population. It is a gap among WOMEN VOTERS ONLY. Black women ARE 13% of the female population. Please learn to do some basic arithmetic.

You also don’t know what the percentage of black women of voting age actually vote. But even if it the 60% ...

Yeah, we do. Please read what I wrote. This is not secret information. The participation rate in 2008 for black females was 65%. What part of that do you not understand? The participation rate for all females in 2008 was 62.8%.

that is still a small percentage of the overall electorate ... ergo black women’s vote is not decisive

It is decisive in the constant drumbeat of "gender gap" statistics, and that is what this article is about. Even by your own calculation (which is too low by 10-15%) it is a huge number. Romney is going to win the popular vote nationally by 5-6% according to the best info we have right now. If ANY GROUP making up 3% of the electorate moves, that changes this whole election. In 2008, if black females had voted 95% for McCain instead of 0bama, that is a movement of 11%! (-5.5% from 0bama, to +5.5% to McCain.)

What you are determined to miss is that white women DO NOT vote (nearly) unamimously for any candidate. Black women DO. That is what makes them such a formidable voting block for the Democrats. There is almost NO cancellation of their votes within cohort. For white women, THERE IS.

12 posted on 10/30/2012 1:57:26 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: FredZarguna

Women are a much larger cohort than all those others you mentioned ... so a shift in women is much more decisive than a shift in say, the Jewish vote. This is well documented. This is what happened in 2004.

Because it it such a large cohort, a shift has much more impact than it does in a much smaller demographic cohort.

It doesn’t work that way in every election. The election has to be close AND the other cohorts have to not shift for the women’s cohort to have an impact.

The media is reporting that the women’s vote has shifted again from 2008 where it was 56% for the Democratic candidate. They are reporting that the women’s vote is about even ... so a 6 point shift if they are right. If other major cohorts DO NOT SHIFT (as happened in 2004) then this speculated shift will be significant and may be significant enough to pull the race to Romney.

This is all well documented.

13 posted on 10/30/2012 4:16:04 PM PDT by Lorianne (fedgov, taxporkmoney)
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