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Democratic Fears Fade as War on Women Wounds GOP

April 18, 2012

By: Kirsten Powers

Unmarried women are coming back to the Democrats after their 2010 fling with Republicans

“Unmarried women don’t like the GOP economic arguments and they don’t agree with what is happening in terms of argument about birth control.”

The Republican casualties in the “War on Women” are mounting. According to a new Democracy Corps/Women’s Voices. Women’s Vote battleground poll, the current GOP agenda is sending unmarried women back into to the arms of Congressional Democrats.

Previous polling has shown President Obama gaining significantly among women, but Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and women’s voting expert Page Gardner – who conducted the poll – say this is the first survey to show similar gains at the Congressional level. Bottom line: In the entire battleground represented in this survey – including both Republican and Democratic districts – Democrats hold a 51 to 41 lead over Republicans among women.

In 2010, Republicans won the women’s vote for the first time. Many of the women who had voted for Obama stayed home because they were so unhappy with the economy. According to the pollsters, married women (who typically vote Republican) have seen almost no rise in unemployment, while unmarried women (core Democratic voters) have been losing jobs at the same rate as men. This caused unmarried women – who comprise 25 percent of eligible voters – to turn from Obama in 2010.

While Democrats had previously worried that 2012 could be a repeat of the midterm elections in terms of women, those fears are receding.

The poll found Democrats making significant gains among women in districts held by Republican incumbents. They report: “In the Republican-held districts where we have data from last year, Democrats picked up a net 10 points among women since December and now lead by 4 points. Among unmarried women, Democrats lead by 20 points in Republican held districts.” Page Gardner said in an interview, “Unmarried women don’t like the GOP economic arguments and they don’t agree with what is happening in terms of argument about birth control.”  President Obama should send embossed thank you notes to the GOP leadership and, of course, Rush Limbaugh. “Do not underestimate the power of what is happening on this contraception issue,” said Greenberg in a conference call with reporters. “Contraception is a Terri Schiavo moment; there is a sense of government intrusiveness.”


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