Depending on what news channel or site you're tuning into this morning, you could hear a huge mix of predictions and sweeping statements about the presidential election. One of the super-hyped messages swirling around out there: The idea that deciding to vote against their own best interest, more and more women are jumping off President Obama's ship and heading en masse to the Land of Romnesia. It's hard to believe. And maybe that's because it's not entirely true. At all.
Having looked at aggregated numbers from a variety of polls, Nate Silver from the New York Times reports that the gender gap has hit historic highs and "if only women voted, President Obama would be on track for a landslide re-election." But get this: "If only MEN voted, Mr. Obama would be biding his time until a crushing defeat at the hands of Mitt Romney." Whoa!
Specifically, Silver reports the numbers show that if only women voted, those in Ohio, Florida, Virginia and most every other place that is conventionally considered a swing state could hand the POTUS a second term. He boils the finding down to the idea that we've never been so divided in this country along gender lines. But it makes perfect sense, given the war on women we've had to endure since Teapublicans made it into Congress in 2010. Women are overwhelmingly standing with President Obama, because he's the candidate standing up for us.
Women realize he's the candidate who didn't need any sort of binder to appoint not one but two women to the Supreme Court, who signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help women fight pay discrimination, who has ensured that insurance companies can no longer consider being a woman a pre-existing condition, who has provided women with birth control and preventive care with no copay or deductible, who has overturned "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so gay women can serve openly in the military -- just to name a few of the ways President Obama has proven he is fighting for us.
Meanwhile, more women than not realize Mitt Romney is not a man of his word -- having flip-flopped or flat-out hemmed and hawed so many times on issues central to our lives and livelihood: Abortion, birth control, discrimination based on pre-existing conditions (like our gender!), lifetime caps on health care for us and our kids, pay discrimination, "getting rid" of Planned Parenthood.
Unfortunately for us women for Obama, we're not the only ones voting in this election, so we can't hand the President a landslide result. But women do make up more than 50 percent of the electorate and show up at the polls at a higher rate than men. So, gender gap or not, there's a reason both candidates have been targeting women. We have serious voting power, and if we know what's best for us and the country, we'll get to the polls and make all the difference in this election's outcome.
Why do you think there's such an extreme gender gap in this election?