In 2010, Republicans won the women’s vote for the first time in 30 years. 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.”