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The gender gap in Senate exit polls was pronounced, with men voting for the Republican in almost all close Senate races. The largest gender gap was in Massachusetts (24 points), followed by Connecticut (21 points).
Composition of new Senate:
If women had the same voting preferences as men in the Senate races, Democrats would only hold 39-41 seats - and the Vice President wouldn't be a Democrat either.
Update: The gender gap generally increased in 2012 compared to 2008 or 2004.
The gender gap for Senate races increased compared to previous presidential election years in 2004 and 2008.
Republicans need say no more.

Originally posted to dreaminonempty on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 10:25 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Elections and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Can you provide (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, Larsstephens, Aunt Pat, Candide08, Matt Z

    The raw gender gap by state as well? Just curious to see how it goes in order—it's a little difficult to tell precise percentages just based on the graph.

    Political Director, Daily Kos

    by David Nir on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:13:17 PM PST

  •  I like the MO and IN numbers (13+ / 0-)

    Apparently most men don't think rape is a gift from god either.

  •  Argh, this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine (3+ / 0-)

    The gender gap doesn't intrinsically favour either party. Why talk about "if women voted like men" but not "if men voted like women?" You could just as easily spin this as "Democrats would have had even larger majorities if it weren't for all those men voting Republican. What can we do about closing the gender gap?"

    Winning more votes is what matters. It doesn't make a lick of difference (for that election) how various demographic groups ended up splitting.

    None of this belies the fact that Akin/Mourdock et al made stupid comments that lost them votes, disproportionally among women. But I think demographic analysis is more "election fluff" than it adds value - it's fun to look at but it doesn't actually tell you much about proper electoral strategy that you couldn't work out yourself (like don't talk about rape).

    •  The baseline comparison (6+ / 0-)

      Sad as it may be, the White Male vote is still considered the 'norm' in this country by many opinionators. It is easy to find examples in mainstream punditry describing Democratic electoral performance in negative terms because the Democrat did not garner a majority of the votes of whites, men, or both, even while winning.

      By describing the gender gap and showing where the voting preferences of women essentially overwhelmed the voting preferences of men (in the aggregate), I hope to help show such analysis is bunk.

      This also reminds Democrats that women are a strong part of their coalition, and policies that personally and intimately affect the well-being of women specifically should not to be considered 'on the table' in any negotiations.

      Finally, I hope it helps remind women of the importance of their vote, in the aggregate.

      •  But I don't think this helps (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, Shirl In Idaho

        Your talk of "if women voted like men" gives the impression that men's voting patterns are the "default" or the "norm", so see how well Republicans could have done if only they had convinced women to vote in the "default" fashion.

        Indeed, this is an issue with anything that frames women in terms of how different they are to men, or indeed any group in terms of how different they are to another group.

        •  I see your point (3+ / 0-)

          Yes, arguing from within the conservative framework (men are the norm) can enhance that viewpoint. I think it is valuable in this case nonetheless.

          For instance, suppose I used 'if men voted like women' instead. This establishes women's vote as the baseline. I would then be able to show that this year Democrats would have gained two more Senate seats. This does not seem like much of a difference, though, minimizing and masking the true differences in the aggregate voting behaviors of the two demographic groups.

          The other alternative is not to look at voting behavior by gender at all. Is there any value in analyzing differences in demographic groups? I think there is as long as we are very careful to remember that individuals are not the sum of their demographic identities. (In my 2009 series I referred to this concept as We Are Not All Of Us Alike.) The value in this analysis lies in relating campaigns and campaign messages to the preferences of voting groups those campaigns targeted or scapegoated.

        •  Yes, but ... (0+ / 0-)

          one of them has to be the baseline, and the comparison is intended to surprise people into examining their own biases, yes? So it is necessary to start with the conventional norm in order to draw them in, psychologically.

          •  I think it would have been optimal to post (0+ / 0-)

            charts based on the idea that either the men's vote or the women's vote is normative, which would have meant additional charts. For the record, I love this diary and couldn't have done it myself, so I have no reason or inclination to nitpick it, but I do think it's important to explode the unwarranted but persistent stereotype that white Anglo males are the norm, particularly when women are the majority of voters.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:01:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'm an eejit (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shirl In Idaho, MichaelNY, mskitty, Matt Z

    when it comes to these kinds of graphs.  All I know is -- every man and woman and me I know voted for Chris Murphy.  

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:05:51 PM PST

  •  "vote like a man" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shirl In Idaho

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:07:36 PM PST

  •  Such interesting data (6+ / 0-)

    I noticed during this campaign season of constant  war-on-women news that even women on my Facebook list who never "post politics" were outraged and vocal about attacks on women. It seemed like these posts and forwards were above what we think of as "politics" and women felt comfortable sharing them.

  •  Watch people unlike Mitt on Facebook in real time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    "Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." -Ralph Waldo Emerson "YEAAAAAAARGH!" -Howard Dean

    by AtomikNY on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:10:38 PM PST

  •  Great progress, but call me when there are 51 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shirl In Idaho, annieli, FloraLine

    female to 49 male Senators, to mirror our population per latest 2010 census.

    "Four more years!" (Obama Unencumbered - The Sequel)

    by jwinIL14 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:11:35 PM PST

  •  Republicans are suffering from a Voter Gap. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shirl In Idaho, MichaelNY

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:13:35 PM PST

  •  I love how, now that Hispanics and women have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mskitty, MichaelNY, cherryXXX69

    been reveaed as "swing" voters, the Republicans are proclaiming that they were simply misunderstood, that they were actually for immigration reform and actually in favor of women making their own choices.

    I can just hear the whispered comments at Spanish language classes and female empowerment seminars during the next two years.

    "Jesus, you here too?"

    "Yeah. Gotta find out what the hell these people want, so we can promise they'll get it from us in 2014. What a pain!"

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:15:22 PM PST

  •  So if Akin and Mourdock never said what they did (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mskitty, MichaelNY

    How do the rest of you think those races would have played out?  I'm thinking Missouri would have still been a 50/50 tossup and Indiana a small edge for Mourdock.  I believe Mourdock had a very small polling edge until his debate fail.

  •  As a male human being, I'd like to personally (6+ / 0-)

    thank the female sex, for their perseverance, their humanity, their steadfastness, their ability to teach males how to be more warm and open, and frankly for their leadership for the future of this country.

    In short, we men need you. No bull.

    "There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that's all some people have? It isn't much, but it's better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan." --Joel McCrea as "Sully," in "Sullivan's Travels."

    by Wildthumb on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:32:54 PM PST

  •  The age posts are encouraging too. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mskitty, Ksou, MichaelNY

    The young women are certainly on target to be a powerful bunch!

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:10:35 PM PST

  •  I'd say this might get the republicans to think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Rationally , but no . Odds are they'll double down and nominate someone like Santorum( he thinks porn and birth control are immoral)  next time.

  •  the gender gaps in MA and CT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Are extraordinary. These liberal states really are composed of center/right men and very liberal women. Even with a woman GOP candidate (in CT), he gap was over 20 Pts.

  •  Hmmm, apparently ND did not have a (0+ / 0-)

    competitive senate race.  I wish they had, so I could see the numbers in your first graph.

    The electoral college was my safety school.

    by Fiddler On A Hot Tin Roof on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 02:50:47 AM PST

  •  Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! (0+ / 0-)

    Don't tell them.  It could help them figure it out.

    The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

    by helfenburg on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 03:28:01 AM PST

  •  Congress is the problem. (0+ / 0-)

    This may seem like a platitude, but let me explain. The Constitution designated two legislative bodies whose obligations include the management of the nation's resources and assets, setting policies for the agencies of government to effect.
    However, because the number of people who could actually participate in the selection of the members of the representative bodies and because of the perseverance of the principle of "sovereign immunity," the role of the electors was seriously constricted, if not effectively limited to rubber stamping whomever the social hierarchy proposed.  In other words, the Congress, in particular, was not responsive to the people and fell into the habit of exercising power by playing favorites. That is, the electors got favors and the subordinate, segregated populations (blacks, Natives, immigrants, women, juveniles, indigents) got punished. In other words, Congress critters got into the habit of retaining power by dispensing rewards and punishments and the major parties divvied up the constituents into the leisure vs. the working classes. Republicans sided with rulers and Democrats appealed to working men.
    This neat dichotomy was gradually undermined after the second World War with the significant expansion of the franchise (including women no longer being dominated by their men folk), culminating with the advent of universal suffrage in 1971, which had the effect, in time, of reducing the population groups incumbents could punish as evidence that their own supporters were especially favored. But, the pattern of disadvantaging some populations has persisted, perhaps because some members of Congress have just relied on it for too long. That the gambit of pitting one group against another to curry favor is becoming less effective is evidenced by the fact that the parties and the candidates they promote are flailing about trying to identify new targets (illegals, transients, transgendered, transport deprived, pregnant, indigents) to exclude from the electorate that determines their fate.
    When you come right down to it, the entire body politic is the enemy of an entrenched Congress and, to a lesser extent, the state legislative bodies, which also find it more personally appealing to play petty potentate than to actually manage resources to promote the general welfare. Lording it over people is more fun than making sure everyone has enough food, shelter, transport and education.
    The lords and ladies of our legislative bodies are in a dither because citizens expect them to work and they don't know how.
    That's the problem and we can only hope that new personnel will solve it by getting to work. Gender is not determinative, but having more women in the Senate can't hurt, as long as they're not token ladies the lords sometimes select.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:48:18 AM PST

  •  As professional quantitative analyst.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cherryXXX69

    ...with a B.S. in Math and an MSEE, I have to tell you that your two "graphs" which show "linear trends" with respect to gender gap vote percentages versus certain states are completely invalid (or misleading).

    The state axis is simply a list of nominal values: the name of things. How can they represent a linear quantity that uniformly increases with the progression from one state to the next, along the state axis?

    Please modify your graphs, so that the state axis and the interval between the states is based upon some quantitative measurement which has political significance.

    Pull yourself up by your Mittstraps: borrow a few million dollars from your parents!

    by xynz on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 07:05:08 AM PST

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