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Women Voters: The History

John McCain and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin today made their first appearance as the GOP's presidential ticket, and some have suggested the pick could attract women voters. But Republicans may need to do more than put a woman on the ticket to attract women's votes. Democrats hold a wide advantage in party identification among women, with nearly six in 10 in recent Washington Post-ABC News polling calling themselves Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents, and Barack Obama has opened up a wide lead among women: In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, he led 55 percent to 37 percent. In a June Post-ABC poll, women gave Obama a nearly 2 to 1 edge as the more trusted candidate on "issues of special concern to women."

But women have not always been a Democratic group. A look at exit polling shows that while Democratic presidential caniddates have fared far better among women than among men -- Bill Clinton and Al Gore both won the group outright -- Republicans have had some success as well.

Sen. John F. Kerry won among women by just 3 percentage points in 2004, and throughout the 1980s, Republicans won the female vote in presidential contests, even posting a double-digit edge in 1984, when Democrats nominated the first woman on a major-party ticket.

Presidential vote among women, 1972-2008*

         % of
      Electorate  Dem  Rep  Margin
2008 RV   53      55   37   D +18
2004      54      51   48   D  +3
2000      52      54   43   D +11
1996      52      54   38   D +16
1992      53      45   37   D  +8
1988      52      49   50   R  +1
1984      51      44   56   R +12
1980      50      45   47   R  +2
1976      50      50   48   D  +2
1972      50      38   60   R +22

But the real battleground may be among white women. Obama currently outperforms previous Democratic presidential nominees among the group, but exit polling shows white women have been closely divided in each of the last two presidential contests without an incumbent candidate.

Presidential vote among white women, 1972-2008*

         % of
      Electorate  Dem  Rep  Margin
2008 RV   42      50   42   D  +8
2004      41      44   55   R +11
2000      42      48   49   R  +1
1996      43      48   43   D  +5
1992      46      41   41   Even
1988      44      43   56   R +13
1984      44      38   62   R +24
1980      43      39   52   R +13
1976      44      46   52   R  +6
1972      43      32   66   R +34

*1972-2004 Network exit polls; 2008 data from the Washington Post-ABC News poll Aug. 2008, among registered voters

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  August 29, 2008; 12:06 PM ET
 
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Comments

Seriously, John McCain is going to die of a facial mole and a 44yr old with no experience whatsoever is going to be president because she is a woman. Who hates women:
http://www.236.com/news/2008/08/29/lady_quayle_her_kids_are_named_8572.php

Posted by: Alas Along the Liffy | August 29, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes, and if this 44 year old should become president, why she could turn to Cheney for VP!

Be afraid. Be very afraid!

Posted by: concerned | August 29, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Social issues aren't big in this campaign because Congress will be controlled by the left regardless of who wins the White House.

Therefore, the question becomes, who will do the best job of advancing women's issues, an old egotist like Biden, or the mom of a man in Iraq, three daughters and an infant with Downs Syndrome?

Neither McCain nor Palin have made social issues the focus of their political careers, unlike the Clintons and W.

What will sell Palin is that she's a strong woman who's not Hillary.

She's honest and a reformer, not dishonest and plagued by White Water, hidden files and other scandals.

She's Idaho and Alaska, not Ivy League and DC.

And she "gets it" as none of the other three candidates do. While Barack has spent the last 15 or 16 years running for office, probably spending little time with his kids, Sarah Palin has been having and raising kids, even while serving in offices.

She's a super mom. The guys are absentee fathers.

As for experience, Biden has been wrong on most important foreign policy issues. He's a joke in Washington, and hardly a man who is known for integrity or writing his own speeches.

Heck, Palin's a journalism grad and journalist, among other things. She's a writer, and writers are clear thinkers.

This will be a fun campaign.

Posted by: Another skeptic | August 29, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I have been following election news and commentary very carefully at www.polijam.com Palin is a great choice. Comments by "another skeptic" above are great. Palin is a great addition to the ticket!

Posted by: NY voter | August 29, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for a women being the vice president. But...if women voters think Palin is going to fight for woman's rights, be careful! She doesn't support woman's right to choose, she's against abortion. She doesn't support gay marriage and states that marriage should only be legal between a man and a woman. She won't be the "rah, rah for women" that many women in America are hoping for. She won't step in and support the same issues that Hillary Clinton does. She will push feminism back decades. I am confused why any female voter would want to back such a conservative. I believe she a very intelligent, articulate woman but if anything happens to John McCain, she will be thrust into the White House as Commander and Chief. Her experience does not align with such an enormous and fundamental responsibility. She has 5 children including an infant with Down Syndrome. Will she be taken seriously by the heads of other nations? I wonder and it worries me greatly!

Posted by: Dem voter | August 29, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

What a lot of us are looking for this election is someone with genuine character. McCain has it, Palin has it, and admit it folks, Obama has it too. Experience is of course important, but honestly, what experience really prepares you for this job? I'm more interested in the character (and a record of living up to their principles) our leaders will rely on to handle the tough problems that will come their way. In this light, Palin seems like a strong choice. I look forward to learning more about her in the days ahead.

Posted by: Pat W | August 29, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Party discipline, my ass. Any "democrat" who can really bring herself to vote for McCain after the last eight years of Republican misrule should follow Joe Lieberman OUT.

Posted by: ocassiuso | August 30, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting to me, that just because Sen. John McCain picked a woman as his running mate, now all the women voters are suppose to flock over to the Republican side. These women are supposed to forget about the fact that the Republicans have all but ruined this country during these past 8 years. These women are suppose to forget about the over 4000 young women and men who have died in this senseless Iraq war; or the hundreds of thousands of people who have lost there jobs during the first 5 months of this year; or the hundreds of thousands of families that have had their home foreclosed on; or the tens of thousands of people who die, each year, of ailments and sicknesses which could easily be prevented if only they had health insurance; or the sky high gas prices, high grocery prices, and high utility bills. John McCain is hoping that these women are so mad at Barack Obama for not choosing Hillary Clinton, that they would support any woman even if she’s a splitting image of John McCain. The Republicans don’t have anything to offer the citizens of this country except 4 more years of George Bush’s crappy policies. A Republican spokesman said John McCain chose Sarah Palin because she’s a maverick just like him. I say she is a perfect copy of John McCain and John McCain is a perfect copy of George Bush.


Posted by: circuit rider | August 30, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: votetheday.com | September 2, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

It's so sexist when I hear that American women will love Sarah Palin. I don't vote by gender. John McCain's just turned 72. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.
• She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage.1
• Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
• She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3
• Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
• She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
• She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as a threatened species-she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6

Posted by: Anya | September 3, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

MCCAIN IS THE BIGGEST PERVERT ALIVE!!
McCain's first wife was a 1.Beauty Queen, no substance. He cheated on her and his children with many women while his wife was crippled and trying to recover from a bad crash.

Mccain lies abouts his age to meet another 2.Beauty Queen while cheating on his wife, files for a marriage license while married and still living with his wife and kid's.
Now McCain pick's another 3. Beauty Queen who is turning out to be the biggest bust in the World of VP choices.
WHAT IS IT WITH MCCAIN AND BEAUTY QUEENS??

LOOK AT THIS PERVERT ON YOUTUBE LOOKING AT PALIN ARSE AND SMILING!!
MCCAIN IS THE BIGGEST PERVERT ALIVE!!
McCain's first wife was a 1.Beauty Queen, no substance. He cheated on her and his children with many women while his wife was crippled and trying to recover from a bad crash.

Mccain lies abouts his age to meet another 2.Beauty Queen while cheating on his wife, files for a marriage license while married and still living with his wife and kid's.
Now McCain pick's another 3. Beauty Queen who is turning out to be the biggest bust in the World of VP choices.
WHAT IS IT WITH MCCAIN AND BEAUTY QUEENS??

LOOK AT THIS PERVERT ON UT UBE LOOKING AT PALIN ARSE AND SMILING!!

Such a pervert he is!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qUVQDmLf7s

Posted by: PERVERT MCCAIN | September 3, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

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