The gender gap cuts both ways
He has clinched the presidential nomination. But how can he overcome what polls have repeatedly shown is a significant gender gap?
No, not former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
President Barack Obama.
OK, so Mr. Romney has a gender gap that threatens his chances of general-election victory, too. However, while Mr. Romney trails President Obama by a significant margin in surveys of American women, the incumbent trails by a significant margin in surveys of American men. Indeed, despite winning the popular vote by seven percentage points in 2008, Mr. Obama finished in a virtual tie with John McCain among male voters.
Yet Mr. Romney’s gender gap is drawing much more attention than Mr. Obama’s as many Democrats sound an absurd alarm about a Republican “war on women.”
And in the ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday, female respondents did give President Obama a whopping 19-point lead over Gov. Romney, while men gave the challenger only an eight-point edge over the incumbent. The president led the poll overall by 51-44 percent.
Gov. Romney fared better in the ABC/Post poll released early last month, when he led overall by 49-47 percent.
But don’t bank on polls taken more than half a year before any general election.
And the latest ABC/Post poll doesn’t seem to quite add up. Shouldn’t the president’s 19-point advantage with women minus his eight-point deficit with men have produced an overall margin closer to 11 points instead of seven?
No matter. The real — and decisive — votes won’t be counted until Nov. 6, when the gap that really counts will be the one separating the Electoral College winner and loser.
And regardless of whether you’re a woman or man, you should base your ballot-box choices on who you think are the best women — or men — for the jobs.