Much of the post-election analysis of why President Obama won and why Mitt Romney lost has centered on the Hispanic vote, in short the inability and unwillingness of the Republican Party to court Latinos. There is abundant evidence that in states like Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico the Hispanic vote was critical to the Obama victory.
But the Obama campaign strategy to get out the Hispanic vote is only one source of the President’s victory. The Republicans have a really big problem with women and lost a huge chunk of the female vote in this election.
Exit polls show that Obama got 55% of the female vote to Romney’s 44%. Women also made up 54% of those voting, which translates into an 18% gender gap for Obama. In 2008 the gender gap was 12%. Certainly Romney got the guy vote, especially the white guy vote, but his defeat was secured by women deciding that Obama better represented their interests.
It is not too difficult to see why the President got the women’s vote, thanks to the Neanderthal Tea Party nitwits in Missouri and Indiana who have no conception of what women go through who are raped, Romney’s promise to de-fund Planned Parenthood, and the attack on Obamacare’s support for free contraception led by the antediluvian leadership in the Catholic Church.
The Republicans may have a Latino problem but they also don’t know how to talk to women and understand their health and welfare needs. On numerous occasions Senator Scott Brown here in Massachusetts would talk to Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in condescending terms to the point where the word ” bully” could be used to describe his behavior. Women flocked to Warren and she crushed the Senator in the vote count.
Then there is New Hampshire which now has the entire political establishment on the distaff side – both senators, the governor and the two US representatives. The guys are out of the picture. Add these examples to the fact that there are now 20 US Senators who are women and I think you get the picture about women power.
This trend of women power is really only beginning, while the angry white guys are in retreat or more importantly increasingly irrelevant. We live in a world that requires caution, collaboration, consensus formation and compromise, which are talents and skills that many women possess, while the guys just hang on to strength, stubbornness, self-deception and superiority. A country and a government cannot function or thrive on the guy approach.
It is a certainty that the Republican Party will develop a new Hispanic strategy for 2014 and 2016, but they also need to look at how they talk to and treat and think about women. It is not an exaggeration to state that women now hold the key to who runs the government of the United States.