Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Which Way Will the Gender Gap Slice in 2008?

Traditionally, there has been a gender gap of varying proportions favoring the Democrats. It is usually attributed to several factors. Often cited as a reason is that since 1973 the Democrats have more and more strongly supported abortion rights. Somehow this is a woman's issue even though more than have of the children killed are female. Oh, that's right, kids can't vote so they don't count. However, even prior to Roe v. Wade, there was a gender gap which could be tied to how the different genders look at issues and how the two main parties package their policy ideas. Is it possible that the gender gap could be eliminated this cycle or even reversed in Republican favor? How many women will stay at home or vote for Sen. McCain in November if Sen. Obama is the Dem nominee? There are several factors that could influence women not to vote for Obama. The most obvious is many were emotionally invested in seeing Sen. Clinton elected as the first woman president. Just this morning we have an article quoting Geraldine Ferraro saying “I think Obama was terribly sexist,” and, as a result, she says she may not be able to cast her ballot for him if, as anticipated, he gains the Democratic presidential nod. Last week we had Obama dismissively refer to a female reporter as "sweetie." Wonder how that goes over with women who have complained over the years about not being taken seriously in the workforce? Then during a speech to tree huggers and hippies in Oregon he said:
"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.
Many have correctly jumped on that part of his speech to make comparisons to Jimmy Carter's call for sacrifice during the energy crisis of the late 1970's. However, the part of the speech I'm highlighting as important to women is his saying we can't keep our houses at 72 degrees. He may find out (as many of us husbands have) that women don't like being told that they can't set the thermostat on their comfort level (no matter how high last months bill was). For decades Dems have successfully campaigned on the dishonest message that Republicans want to tell them what to do with their bodies. Well, maybe the Republicans should return the favor and aggressively campaign on the message that Democrats (Obama in particular) want to tell them to turn down their thermostat. My guess is there are more women concerned about being warm in the Winter than in being able to get an abortion on demand.

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Blogger Ben said...

He sounds an awful lot like Carter in that quote, Bill.

McCain has a real chance to get out front here and make some inroads on energy, by talking about how destructive Democrats have been on this issue.

On a side note, Pat Burrell is falling off the MVP pace.

May 21, 2008 at 10:57 AM


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