Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Reaching out to women

In trying to repair his image as a brilliant political consultant, Karl Rove has unleashed a series of advertisements on Senate swing states where women describe themselves as non-single issue voters.  The point of the advertisements is to try and show that women are not only interested in birth control and a woman’s right to choose.  In all honesty, this point has been often repeated by many right-wing pundits and blogs for the last few months.  The first time I saw it was by the conservative blogger (maybe a radio host, too, although as far as I can tell, people only link to his blog) Matt Walsh.  In arguing in favor of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby decision, Walsh derided “liberals” for thinking women only care about birth control and abortions.  He argued that the women he knows are much more complex than that and are able to think for themselves about a variety of issues.  This view, expressed by Walsh and Rove, is supposed to convince women that they should vote Republican because they agree with them on other things beside birth control and abortion.  The real “war on women” they may argue is the fact that Democrats are only concerning themselves with birth control and abortions and not appealing to women outside of that. 

Well, of course women are not single issue voters.  Very few people are true single issue voters.  They hold many complex beliefs on a variety of issues.  They just happen to be, generally, more liberal than men.  I decided to compare how women compare to men on a few issues.  The issues are supporting a minimum wage increase to $10 per hour, supporting Medicaid expansion, supporting same-sex marriage, and supporting the Affordable Care Act.  I looked at polls conducted by Public Policy Polling in 2014 and looked at the crosstabs for the information for how women and men feel on a particular issue.  The polls are conducted on a statewide level.   

The first table is comparing how many women support an increase in the minimum wage to how many men support it.

State
Male
Female
Kansas
46
60
North Carolina
51
63
Florida
58
68
Michigan
54
62
Kentucky
50
65
Colorado
50
57
Minnesota
52
59
Iowa
44
52
Arkansas
48
63
Wisconsin
55
58
New Mexico
52
63
Arizona
42
55
Louisiana
56
58
New Hampshire
63
57


The second table is looking at how women feel about expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act:
State
Male
Female
North Carolina
52
61
Florida
63
58
Wisconsin
64
58


The next table is probably the most striking which is how many women support same-sex marriage compared to men.
State
Male
Female
Kentucky
20
40
Alaska
42
56
Colorado
48
61
Louisiana
28
36
Minnesota
46
56
Pennsylvania
41
53
Oregon
50
58
Iowa
54
41
Arkansas
25
28
Wisconsin
42
51
North Carolina
35
44
New Mexico
42
52
New Hampshire
52
67


Finally, the last table is comparing how many women support the Affordable Care Act compared to men:
ACA
Male
Female
Kentucky
29
39
Minnesota
38
47
Arkansas
35
32
Wisconsin
42
44
New Hampshire
40
39


For the most part, women are more likely to support, at least nominally, Democratic ideas.  This raises the question of why conservative bloggers and even Karl Rove believe that women can be convinced that they support the Republican Party based on an argument against a strawliberal.  Unless Rove truly believes that people will vote against their own interests, which I am not discounting, I don’t think these ads will do as much as he thinks.  

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