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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Six Key Misconceptions About Women Voters

The campaigns are desperate to know what makes women voters tick, but much political thinking is still marred by gross misconceptions about the key group. MSNBC lists the most egregious:

Women are a homogenous voting bloc. Not only do they not share a common geography, attitude or philosophy, but even categories like “soccer mom” and “security mom” fail to accurately capture the groups they describe.
Women vote less often. While unmarried females vote less than their married counterparts, women vote more often than men.
Women favor female candidates. The so-called “affinity effect” is the most persistent misconception about women voters, but analysis of congressional races shows women care more about party affiliation than gender.
The "gender gap" is growing. Identified when women preferred Bill Clinton to Bob Dole by a dozen points. Polls suggest it will shrink, even to zero, in this race.
Women drive the gender gap. In fact, men have been getting more conservative over the past 25 years.
Women only care about “women’s issues.” Men and women generally care about the same issues—Iraq in ’04, the economy today.

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