Democrats Losing Their Grip On Women Voters
Once women voters were considered to be a sure thing for Democratic candidates, but the tide appears to be turning, according to last week’s poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News. That news has top Democrats out in full force, stumping for the votes that they thought they had in the bag. It comes as no surprise to the PolitiChicks, authors of the bestselling book, What Women Really Want.
The times, they are a’changing. Concerns over the President’s response to national security and foreign policy issues may be connected to turning the tide away from the Democrats, according to the WSJ. Often, the issues that women care most about are those that affect the family directly, such as the economy. But pollsters have found that women are paying much more attention than usual to recent events, such as the ISIS beheadings and the Ferguson riots. The threat level from groups like ISIS has become a concern of many who ordinarily don’t pay much attention to world events.
Job approval for President Obama among women has reached new lows, especially when it comes to foreign policy. While more women polled would still like to see a Democrat-controlled Congress, the gap between those who prefer Democrat control and those who prefer Republican is shrinking fast, causing some to take notice. Last month, there was a 14 point gap, 51 to 37 percent. The gap is half that this month, at 47 to 40 percent.
Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt says, “The results among women in this poll should be a cautionary tale for Democrats.”
Among white women, the data is even more jarring. Mr. Obama’s approval rating among white women is only 32 percent, with a disapproval rating of 62 percent — a 30 point spread. Just last month, the gap was 24 points. Last month, that demographic hoped to see a Democrat controlled Congress, by a margin of four points. Now, 48 percent want to see the Republicans control Congress, while only 40 percent want the Democrats in power in the House and Senate.
The top three Democrats were all on hand Friday to speak to the Democratic Party’s Women’s Leadership Forum, in hopes of swaying that all-important women’s block of voters. Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, and President Barack Obama each spoke of the importance of women voting in the midterm elections. Par for the course, Biden made an unfortunate gaffe while discussing the War on Women, as reported by The Inquisitr.
According to WDSU, “Without strong turnout and support from women, Democrats stand little chance of keeping control of the Senate — the party’s top priority this year.”
At the same time that Hillary Clinton was making her case that women need to vote for Democratic candidates, PolitiChicks Dr. Gina Loudon, Ann-Marie Murrell, and Morgan Brittany have been traveling around the country telling people that the media and the culture have misinterpreted, or even lied about, what is truly important to women.
Morgan Brittany says that “this year has been a turning point.” The PolitiChicks shared on the Mike Huckabee Show that they believe that the “War on Women” message has limited the focus of the conversation to a few issues, but there are many more issues that matter to women. The economy matters to women. The effect of “undocumented immigrants” coming into the schools with their children matters to women. The threat of ISIS and the lack of treatment for vets at the VA is concerning to families. Limiting the conversation to birth control and “reproductive rights” is actually offensive, they said, because women are far more complex than that.
While Hillary Clinton praised her audience for women candidates who keep issues like workplace equality and equal pay at the forefront, Dr. Gina Loudon wrote for WND that a recent study by Forbes shows that almost 90 percent of working women would like the opportunity to stay home and not have to work.
She asks, “[H]ow many things have you ever heard that 90 percent of women agree about? This must really matter to women. Does it matter to their elected officials?”
The growing perception of a lack of leadership in Washington is taking a toll on the president’s approval ratings, and could play a major role in the midterm elections. Brenda Casson is a 52-year-old participant in the WSJ poll who voted for Barack Obama in 2012. She told the pollsters that the lack of leadership frustrates her, and that the U.S. needs to act decisively against ISIS, because “if they don’t handle it now, it will be something that will become bigger and more of a problem for America.”
When the issues hit close to home, that is when women pay attention. Recent events may be waking up a sleeping lioness. When women get passionate about something, they can make a huge difference. Which party do you believe has the best hope of capturing the passions of women voters this fall? Will the Democrats benefit, or are women moving on?
[images via Hill Street Studios/Getty Images, Still4Hill, and screenshot from the Huckabee Show]