The women’s vote looking strong for President Obama in Election 2012

November 6, 2012

As Chris Cillizza reports, the national exit poll shows President Obama winning the vote among women, though bear in mind these are still preliminary findings:

President Obama is winning women, who comprise 53 percent of the overall electorate, by 10 points.  If that margin holds, it will be slightly higher than preelection polling suggested but still less than than the losing margin for John McCain (13 points) and George W. Bush (11 points) among women.

Although it’s still too early to know how many women turned out at the polls on Election Day, and which way they cast their votes, Cillizza also writes that the margin of women’s support for President Obama over Mitt Romney may actually be, historically, fairly small:

Democrats have spent lots of time in this election driving a narrative that Republicans are conducting a “war on women,” pointing to some of the policies espoused by GOP candidates on contraception and abortion — not to mention decidedly impolitic comments made by Senate candidates in Missouri and Indiana on rape. But national polling suggests that Romney is trailing Obama by mid-to-high single digits among women — a margin that would rank among the smallest gender gaps in modern presidential history if it holds.

As part of a late get-out-the-vote effort for Democrats, Michelle Obama spent election eve in North Carolina, as Mary Curtis writes for She the People:

On Monday, after emerging from a plane that taxied and halted movielike beside the hangar and taking the stage in front of a giant American flag, Michelle Obama told the 4,500 crowded into a hangar at Charlotte Douglas International Airport to vote, volunteer and “get to that one person” who hasn’t made it to the polls. She reminded them that Obama’s narrow 14,000-vote win in North Carolina in 2008 amounted to just five votes per precinct. She said it would be even closer than the last time – “own that.” 

The crowd shouted love and support and the occasional “hallelujah” as she talked about her husband’s accomplishments and plans for the economy, health care and education. “We’ve been making real and meaningful progress,” she said.  And when it comes to women’s rights, she said, “We know that Barack will always have our backs.”

Mormon women, despite sharing a faith with Mitt Romney, are also showing support for Obama. Joanna Brooks, author of “The Book of Mormon Girl,” wrote a guest piece for On Faith in which she interviewed nine Mormon women who are voting for Obama:

Mormon women honor the religion we share with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But on Election Day, thousands and thousands of us will cast our votes in support of President Obama.

As a writer who has followed closely the role of faith in this campaign, I have witnessed how progressive Mormon women are finding their voices in this historic moment. A week ago, I took to the Internet to ask Mormon women who support Obama to share how their faith informs their vote. I heard from stay-at-home mothers, nurses, lawyers, hairstylists, and college professors, women with children small and grown, white women and women of color, from California to New Hampshire—and in key states like Nevada, Colorado and Florida. . . .

Anne Kate Ard, 54, retired engineer in Birmingham, Ala.: “Governor Romney does not consider birth control for women a part of normal family medical expenses, and he has not consistently supported pay equity. But everyone wins when women can plan and provide for their families and when children born are wanted, cared for, and loved. These are bedrock needs for healthy, happy families, and families are central to my Mormon faith. That’s why I’m voting for Obama.”

To read more of the voices, check out the piece On Faith.

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