You could be forgiven for looking at the 2014 election cycle and thinking you’re watching a rerun of 2012. “The 1 percent! The war on women!” In the latest episode, the White House signed an executive order on federal salaries billed as promoting equal pay, as a part of its effort to keep the political gender gap working in their favor.
It makes sense that Democrats would want the coming election to be a replay of the last one. They won.
The “war on women” was an essential piece of the Democratic Party’s 2012 playbook, and women broke by double-digits for President Obama on Election Day. Republicans were caught off-guard all campaign long and their response was atrocious. From “binders full of women” to the awkward silence in response to Todd Akin’s comments about rape and pregnancy, Republicans handed Democrats round after round of ammunition.
It is a mathematic truth that “women decide elections,” as we constitute the majority of voters, even in midterm elections. In the 2006 midterms, women made up 51 percent of the vote, and in 2010 that increased to 53 percent. The election that swept in Speaker Pelosi saw Democrats winning female voters by a 12-point margin, and the election that gave us Speaker Boehner had Republicans outperforming Democrats among women.
For all that Republicans are hoping the midterms are much closer to the 2010 election than 2012, the polls these days do show women have a very different take on the GOP than they did four years ago. While at this point in 2010, there waslittle difference between who men and women said they wanted to vote for in the midterms, the polls today show women still disinclined to vote Republican.
We know women will be critical on Election Day, and we know what Democrats’ plan is to win them over. Do Republicans have a better response this time?
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