In the discussion thread: Wait, What?!! "What’s Up with White Women?" (= title of article) [View all]
Response to JVS (Reply #12)
Sun Nov 11, 2012, 05:03 PM
WhaTHellsgoingonhere (2,475 posts)
13. Yes, if you want to break white women into smaller voting blocks...
The *much* larger block -- that which broke heavily for Romney -- is made up of wealthier, older, more religious, and more racist white women. Clearly, more white women were college educated in 2012 than 2008 and 2004, but Romney outperformed both McCain and Bush with white women. All things considered, namely his stance toward abortion, and "the outrageous remarks of Republicans like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock," I found the reverse gender gap most startling.
ALL white women
2004 Bush 55%, Kerry 44%
2008 McCain 53%, Obama 46%
2012 Romney 56%, Obama 42%
Even then, though, the gender gap needs interpreting carefully. It isn’t accurate to say that women as a whole are suddenly turning their backs on the G.O.P., and that this explains Romney’s defeat. The gender gap isn’t anything new. According to the exit polls, it was actually a bit bigger in 2008, when Obama got fifty-six per cent of the female vote and John McCain got forty-three per cent. Given the margin of error attached to these polls, a difference of two points—a thirteen per cent gender gap in 2008 versus an eleven per cent gender gap in 2012—isn’t statistically meaningful. But it indicates that Romney did make a bit of progress in attracting female voters, even as his own evolving stance on abortion and birth control, as well as the outrageous remarks of Republicans like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, made his task more difficult.
So it appears the biggest factor is that white women -- old and *young,* alike -- got wealthier from 2004 to 2012. Secondarily, as they got older, they became more conservative. One way of looking at this is that, over this span, all white women became more educated: more white women in their 60s today have college degrees than they did 30 years ago. The same is true of younger white women. Again, it appears that white, college educated women become more conservative as they grow wealthier and older. In the end, not much different than white men. But considering the way women are treated by Republicans, I find this truly startling.
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