This year’s presidential election sported the biggest gender gap ever tracked in Gallup polling’s 60-year history, according to data released after November’s election.
Exit polls have shown women voting in larger numbers than men for decades, which is why Democrats targeted women voters in the months leading up to Nov. 6 , Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway told PBS radio.
This year, Gallup found that women cast 53 percent of the vote while men cast 47 percent.
According to Bloomberg, “Obama won among women by 12 points, by 56-44 percent, and lost to Republican nominee Mitt Romney among men, by 54-46 percent. That 20-point difference — a 12-point advantage among women and 8-point disadvantage among men.”
Conway said women have leaned Democratic since 1980, the dawn of the Ronald Reagan era, and men have generally voted Republican.
Female voters showed consistency, carrying Obama by 13 points in 2008 and by 12 points in 2012, Conway pointed out.
But Democrats should take note of one warning sign, Conway said: Obama was “the first successful re-elected president in modern history that lost more votes among men.”
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake offered some perspective to the voting patterns.
“Women tend to believe that government has a role to play, that it should be a partner in their life,” Lake told PBS radio. “Men tend to think it’s been a good day when the government hasn’t done anything bad to you.”
Lake said women connected with Obama on issues like abortion and women’s health – a concept Conway rejected.
Exit polling numbers suggest men proved Lake right in November. In a recent article, “When It Comes to Gender Gap, Men Play Crucial Role,” Newsmax pointed out that the gap is not confined to one race or ethnicity.
“The gender gap isn’t just a white thing,” the Newsmax article said. “It exists even among minorities that vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Obama got 96 percent of black women’s votes, but 87 percent of black men’s, compared with 76 percent of Hispanic women and 65 percent of Hispanic men, according to the exit poll.”
For more analysis, read here.