The Republican party is suffering from a serious failure to attract the female vote, exit polls following the election released on Wednesday reveal. Just 44 per cent of female voters supported Mitt Romney, while 55 per cent voted to re-elect Barack Obama – and with women making up 53 per cent of the electorate, those numbers were enough to play a significant role in keeping the GOP out of the White House.
Republicans fared particularly poorly among single women, 67 per cent of whom voted for Obama while just 31 per cent supported Romney. If Romney had been able to attract the votes of just half of women, he would have cruised to an easy victory.
The Republican failure among women was not for lack of trying – with Ann Romney playing a large role in the last few weeks of the campaign. But in the end, the party was arguably damaged by its position on key issues such as abortion and contraception.
Exit polls showed Obama holding an 11-point lead over Romney with female voters, while the Republican candidate won the male vote by just seven points.
While nearly all elections have some sort of ‘gender gap’, with women leaning left and men tending towards the right, 2012 has seen a much more pronounced trend. The total gap in this year’s election was 18 points, compared to a 12-point gap in 2008.
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