Gender Gap: Gone Yet at Record High

A recent poll has Obama and Romney tied among women. Another gives Obama a 33 point edge.

The dangers of over-analyzing the results of one poll is perfectly illustrated by a pair of stories in The Atlantic highlighted at YahooNews this morning.

In, “Revenge of the Soccer Moms: Why Are Women Abandoning Obama?” Molly Ball drives out to Chantilly, Virginia to investigate the sudden disappearance of the gender gap.

A few months ago, it seemed like the battle for women’s votes was one Democrats had decisively won. While (male) Republican politicians talked about transvaginal ultrasounds, legitimate rape and the like, Democrats laughed all the way to the bank. President Obama’s steady double-digit leads with women in poll after poll were a major reason he stayed ahead of Mitt Romney for months on end.

Then suddenly, a couple of weeks ago, Obama’s edge with women began to melt away. More than any other group, women have accounted for Romney’s surge in the polls, which has now given him a slim lead in the national popular vote and in some calculations of the electoral college. Women, it appeared, were not as firmly ensconced in Obama’s camp as they had seemed. Indeed, they were abandoning the president en masse.

Based on a discussion with two random women, we learn that women aren’t all that concerned about so-called “women’s issues” and instead, at least in well-to-do places like Chantilly, antsy about Obama’s desire to raise taxes on the well-to-do.

Yet, in “Ladies (Still) Love Obama,” Adam Clark Estes informs us that, “According to the latest poll numbers, the gender gap is on track to hit historic highs in the upcoming presidential election.”

The split isn’t terribly surprising. President Obama, as expected, is holding his own among women voters, and Romney is the favorite among men. But the split is big, perhaps bigger than ever. “If only women voted, President Obama would be on track for a landslide re-election, equaling or exceeding his margin of victory over Senator John McCain in 2008,” New York Times polling wizard Nate Silver explains. “If only men voted, Mr. Obama would be biding his time until a crushing defeat at the hands of Mitt Romney, who might win by a margin similar to the one Ronald Reagan realized over Jimmy Carter in 1980.”

It gets more interesting when you did down into the numbers. One poll put the gender gap at a staggering 33 points, whereas the average of those reviewed by Silver put it at a still significant 19 points. If there race were actually gender-specific, the margin of victory for either candidate would also be big: at least nine points. This is almost in line with the split during the Bush-Gore race of 2000, which at 20 points had the biggest gender gap on record since 1972 when exit polls were first conducted. Obama won the election in 2008 beating McCain by 13 points among female voters.

[…]

It gets a little more complicated when you try to pick the issue that’s causing the divide, but Silver says all signs point to women’s health. It’s been a particularly active issue lately, as states enacted 92 new laws restricting abortion in 2011 and Republican-after-Republican has trampled on the issue for the entire election cycle. Obama’s done nothing but some out strongly, in favor of a woman’s right to choose. “There are millions of women all across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood for not just contraceptive care,” he said at the Hofstra debate last week. “They rely on it for mammograms, for cervical-cancer screenings. That’s a pocketbook issue for women and families all across the country.”

There may be nothing for poor Mitt Romney to do. On one hand, women have always loved Obama. On the other hand, according to a focus group full of women after the last debate, women find Romney to be kind of “douchey.” Nevermind what people are saying about Paul Ryan.

Because the national media polls are simply fodder for news stories and means of getting attention for the purveying outlet, they’re done a cheaply and quickly as possible. They’re just quick snapshots of the electorate and completely meaningless a week later in a fluid race. The people who do this for the candidates use larger samples, more rigorous methodologies, and poll over multiple days. They also invest a lot more money in the polls, since they’re going to use the results to decide how to spend millions in advertising revenue and otherwise make choices that could make or break their candidate’s campaign.

Taken in aggregate, the media polls nonetheless give us a pretty good idea of how the race is going.  Right now, I’m reasonably confident that the national race is essentially tied, with Mitt Romney perhaps having a very slight edge, and that President Obama is ahead in the Electoral College race and would pass the magic 270 vote threshold if the election were held today. Also, I’m confident that the election won’t be held today (unless you count early voting).

Taken individually, though, they don’t tell us much. The screens for determining who is a “likely voter” are just not that scientific. And, because the samples are relatively small and the demographic methodologies aren’t carefully controlled, the sub-samples have very large sampling error. That explains why there can be no gender gap at all in one poll and a 33 point gap in another.

If I had to guess, the actual gender gap is somewhere near the average of the national polls: around 15 percent. That’s about the middle of the range of the gap in the last several presidential elections.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Gender Issues, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. DC Loser says:

    I’ve stopped paying attention to these articles as election day comes closer. The media needs to ‘create’ items to justify ad revenue and traffic on their sites. About the only polling site I bother to check is Nate Silver’s.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    There is only one poll that matters to me, but then I am not on any one’s campaign staff.

  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Ah, yes, the “gender gap.” That time-honored tradition of batty liberals in the media-academe complex. I distinctly remember when the Geraldine Ferraro pick was something about which Team Reagan really needed to be worried. The “gender gap” and such. Or whatever.

    What never ceases to amaze me about this nonsense is that we all could live to be 150 and yet never see anyone in the chattering classes sit down and ruminate about why the Democrat Party in large part forever has lost the male vote. You would think the media-academe cabal sufficiently would be interested in winning more elections that at least they would try to understand the flip side of the gender gap coin. It’s not rocket science. Women are 53% of the electorate. If for example you win the female vote by 16 points but lose the male vote by 20 points you lose the total vote. I went to a New York State public high school and even I can figure that out. Geez.

    In any event, it’s a base turnout election and unless Team Obama really gins up turnout among young single women he’ll be a former president come January. They know that. Obviously Team Obama owns virtually the entire media. So for the next two weeks we’re going to hear ad nauseum about women’s issues. C’est la vie.

  4. DC Loser says:

    Just to show there are polls and analysis to everyone’s taste:

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/gender-gap-near-historic-highs/

  5. grumpy realist says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: Tsar, you might as well write an article discussing why the Republican Party has lost the female vote. And the Hispanic vote. And the African-American vote…

    Why don’t you analyze why the Republican party is becoming more white, more male, older, and more Southern?

  6. JKB says:

    Poll Dancing:

    As we look at women and polls, we find their lady parts are in our face. According to Democrats, women don’t worry their purdy little heads about the economy or national security. They just keep their mouths shut and their legs open if they want to be happy, unless Bill Clinton is around when open, inviting lips are a job requirement. But the girls of the Obama White House will be paid less and never let in on Obama’s golf game.

  7. Davebo says:

    They just keep their mouths shut and their legs open if they want to be happy

    It’s good to have a dream JKB. But wouldn’t you also like them to keep their mouths and legs open? Perhaps if you can convince them to close their eyes it could happen.

    Can’t imagine why wing nuts such as yourself are a turn off to women who own shoes.

  8. J-Dub says:

    Women will start to care about “women’s issues” when they start to get degraded under a Republican administration. There won’t be any Republican “small government” when it comes to women’s rights.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB: Misogyny is alive and well.

  10. ThatOtherMIke says:

    @JKB: What a nasty little shit bird you are.

  11. Davebo says:

    I think ABL said it best when she noted that Republicans want to shrink the government until it can fit in a women’s vagina.

  12. Franklin says:

    Based on a discussion with two random women, we learn that women aren’t all that concerned about so-called “women’s issues” and instead, at least in well-to-do places like Chantilly, antsy about Obama’s desire to raise taxes on the well-to-do.

    Heh.

    Right now, I’m reasonably confident that the national race is essentially tied, with Mitt Romney perhaps having a very slight edge

    Nate Silver would disagree about who has the slight edge in the popular vote, although you do agree with him about the electoral college.

    And, related, you might note that he JUST posted about the gender gap in the wee hours of the morning: Gener Gap Near Historic Highs

  13. Franklin says:

    @DC Loser: Oops, I failed to read all the comments first …

  14. Geek, Esq. says:

    There’s got to be some kind of theorem detailing how, as the ratio of commentary to data rises, conflicting and nonsensical analysis increases exponentially.

  15. James Joyner says:

    @Franklin: I read Silver’s full post after writing this but it’s actually the basis of the Estes piece.

  16. bk says:

    @JKB:

    As we look at women and polls, we find their lady parts are in our face

    If your comments such as this are indicative of your “charm”, that is about as close as you will come to having that happen.

  17. wr says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: So according to the Tsar, women are 53% of the electorate, but the only reason the press writes about issues they care about is because they’re in the tank for Obama.

    One might wonder why the Tsar thinks that the concerns of the majority of the electorate should be ignored in favor of those of a minority, but then one remembers that the Tsar thinks that people who aren’t exactly in his demographic shouldn’t be allowed to vote anymore…

  18. JKB says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Misogyny is alive and well.

    And it’s name is the Democratic Party.

  19. JKB says:

    For all these polls and stories, I’ve yet to come across a woman who is so obsessed abortion or can be bought with a free mammogram. Maybe I meet a higher class of women or my attraction to intelligent, independent women skews the sample. But what I see is the Left trying to create a caricature of women. Maybe the concern is big in big city, blue state women but I don’t see how that helps Obama.

    This looks a whole lot like a disinformation campaign.

  20. James in LA says:

    @JKB Women will simply ignore you in the one place they cannot be harassed by you: the voting booth. I have not seen many polls mentioning this sort of Scorn as a factor, as no pollster would dare ask. Prepare to be bitterly disappointed, and that’s just on general principles.

  21. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Abortion is a very important issue for me. So you definitely have met at least one women.

    And “intelligent, independent women” do indeed worry about being forced to use their wombs to gestate fetuses they don’t want. If I don’t have freedom over my body, all the Rightists’ talks about “freedom” means absolutely nothing. Freedom for MEN is what you mean.

  22. J-Dub says:

    @bk: To quote Triumph the Insult Dog, “I hope you got a good look at your mother’s vagina when you were born because that’s probably the last one you’ll see.”

  23. J-Dub says:

    @bk: in reference to JKB, that is…

  24. J-Dub says:

    @grumpy realist: to paraphrase SNL, if men could get pregnant the morning-after pill would come in multiple flavors.

  25. Stan says:

    I’m curious about the difference between men and women when it comes to racial issues. Is there any breakdown of the gender gap by regions?

  26. wr says:

    @grumpy realist: “Freedom for MEN is what you mean.”

    Now come on. That’s not fair at all.

    Freedom for wealthy white men is what JKB means.

  27. Rick Almeida says:

    @Stan:

    I’m curious about the difference between men and women when it comes to racial issues. Is there any breakdown of the gender gap by regions?

    According to Kaufmann, Petrocik, and Shaw (2008: 109), the gender gap for Southern white voters collapsed in 2004. They claim that there was an 11-point gap between Southern white men and women in 2000, but that had dwindled to 5 points in 2004.

    I couldn’t find 2008 data, but I’d expect that gap to have decreased further by 2008.

  28. Just Me says:

    I am a woman and I can say that the democratic obsession with my uterus tends to be offputting especially in a climate where the economy is stagnant.

    I am far more concerned about the economy-feeding my family, paying my bills, my kid’s college accounts not losing money etc.

  29. Franklin says:

    @James Joyner: Ahh, good point. I should probably click through more …

  30. James in LA says:

    @Just Me: You act like we cannot do both: protect womens’ privacy AND strengthen the economy. Why does it have to be either/or? It is not the democratic party that has passed a heap of anti-health legislation aimed at women, measures that most certainly could affect your pocketbook and that of your family’s as they turn to adulthood.

    You do not seem to understand that economic freedom for women is needed to grow the economy, and that begins with being able to control their own bodies, something men all too often take for granted, as they are never under the kind of assault meted out regularly by Todd Aiken, Paul Ryan and JKB in this very forum. Romney will do as told.

    The voting booth is one place free of this harassment.

  31. KariQ says:

    @JKB:

    Please, man-splain to me some more about what women really care about.

    This is a huge generalization, and there are naturally women who will disagree with this, but as a whole I think women look at issues this way:

    For women, social issues are economic issues. Nothing determines a woman’s economic well being as much as when and whether she will have children, so contraception is an important issue. Marriage has a huge impact on one’s financial well being, so marriage is an economic issue. Equal rights will impact the lives our children lead, so anti-gay attitudes are an economic issue. Access to health care is a vital economic issue.

    And this is true regardless of one’s position on these issues. The wall between “economic issues” and “social issues” tends to break down from a female perspective, they just aren’t as distinct and separate as some people think they are.

  32. Nikki says:

    @Just Me: I, too, am a woman and my ability to control the number of living beings for which I am responsible (ensuring an adequate roof over the head and food on the table) is of paramount importance to me. When you are the sole breadwinner in your family, abortion/birth control IS an economic issue.

  33. KariQ says:

    @JKB:

    For all these polls and stories, I’ve yet to come across a woman who is so obsessed abortion or can be bought with a free mammogram. Maybe I meet a higher class of women or my attraction to intelligent, independent women skews the sample.

    I particularly love this part where you explain that only stupid, weak, dependent women could possibly disagree with you, because that is totally how I think of women like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Carolyn Maloney, and Barbara Mikulski.

  34. pcbedamned says:

    The reason for many of these women stating “it doesn’t affect me” is that it doesn’t. Until it does. There are events that can happen in life to knock one off their sanctimonious high horse. And let me tell you, it’s a brutal fall. Then is when you realize that “no man is an island” isn’t just a cliche. And all those things you thought you believed in, need an attitude adjustment. It is an event I don’t wish on my worst enemy, and yet sometimes think it is the only way many of these “christians” (yes small c) will ever realize the world outside of their own small window. It’s amazing what an ass-kicking from God can do…

  35. Davebo says:

    It’s safe to say that a woman in her twenties to thirties might have a different opinion of women’s issues than a woman in her 50’s to 60’s.

    I actually read a comment where a women claimed she was very pro choice in her twenties but now, over 55 she is staunchly pro life.

    She didn’t even seem to get the irony of that statement but it is a “I got mine, screw you” sort of opinion.

  36. James in LA says:

    @Davebo: She didn’t even seem to get the irony of that statement but it is a “I got mine, screw you” sort of opinion.

    This summarizes the GOP platform.

  37. Davebo says:

    @James in LA:

    True. At least it summarizes a lot of the platform.

  38. Just Me says:

    You do not seem to understand that economic freedom for women is needed to grow the economy, and that begins with being able to control their own bodies, something men all too often take for granted, as they are never under the kind of assault meted out regularly by Todd Aiken, Paul Ryan and JKB in this very forum. Romney will do as told.

    Please refrain from telling me that I do not understand something. That is extremely condescending. Your whole comment is like some man patting me on my head and telling me I really just don’t know any better and really can’t think for myself. Thanks but no thanks. My husband treats me with far more respect than half the feminists who think my vote should be all about my uterus.

    I don’t particularly feel oppressed by men, and I don’t particularly trust Obama to do anything but spend more money and remain a mostly ineffective leader.

    Obama can’t work with people and he doesn’t try. Obama reminds me way too much of the guy in the popular clique in high school who wanted to be class president so he could put it on his college resume. He had his four years, I have lost my job, pay more for my gas, more for my groceries, and more for my utilities. Thanks, but Obama has done nothing to convince me that the most important matter for me is that I have access to free birth control and abortions and that somehow that will improve the economy? Please.

  39. legion says:

    @pcbedamned:

    It’s amazing what an ass-kicking from God can do…

    God needs more feet, IMHO.

  40. jan says:

    @JKB:

    Misogyny is alive and well.

    And it’s name is the Democratic Party.

    I don’t think the democratic party ‘hates’ women. But it does ‘use’ them as tools, manipulating/exploiting issues in order to get their vote.

    NOW, as well, is another appendage of the democratic party, and does nothing for women but corral their vote for the dems. I am being besieged by emails from them, and write them back saying my issues are jobs, the economy, and national security, since the criminal mishandling of Benghazi.

    The division, by the dems, of this country into nothing but special interest groups, in-fighting with each other, has gotten to be old, rancid and bearing down on poisonous, in lieu of the perilous issues now facing us, both domestically and abroad.

  41. Rafer Janders says:

    @Just Me:

    I am far more concerned about the economy-feeding my family, paying my bills, my kid’s college accounts not losing money etc.

    How well do you think you’ll be able to do any of that if you have two to three more children you weren’t planning for? Do you think a few more mouths at the dinner table, a few more bodies to buy clothes for, a few more college accounts to fund, are all going to be free? Or do you think you’ll be better able to control your familie’s economic situation if you have some control over when and how many children you have?

  42. Just Me says:

    How well do you think you’ll be able to do any of that if you have two to three more children you weren’t planning for?

    Let me just say this isn’t going to happen, however if it did, I wouldn’t murder the baby in my womb because it might cost more. I would find a way to make it work.

    Please don’t tell me that the economy is going to be improved for women if we just all head off to the nearest abortion clinic to get rid of all the babies. That is just ridiculous.

    Once again if your main argument for voting for Obama to improve the eoncomy is because of my uterus then you are the one who isn’t really thinking things through.

  43. Barry says:

    @Just Me: “I am a woman and I can say that the democratic obsession with my uterus tends to be offputting especially in a climate where the economy is stagnant.”

    Let me guess – you’re a ‘libertarian’, and an ‘independent’, and you haven’t a clue as to the behavior of the GOP.

  44. grumpy realist says:

    @Just Me: Say that to the women in locations where they don’t have birth control. And have 12,13, or more babies.

    The Phillippeans is a country that is teetering on the edge of ecological and economic disaster because of the increasing population that they can’t care for. But the bishops insist on no birth control…..

  45. Barry says:

    @pcbedamned: “And let me tell you, it’s a brutal fall. Then is when you realize that “no man is an island” isn’t just a cliche.”

    My guess (as a man) is that the gender gap is due to this fact – women are more likely to be caregivers, and to have to deal with consequences.

  46. grumpy realist says:

    @Just Me: “It isn’t going to happen” because you’ve gone through menopause, or “It isn’t going to happen” because you never have to worry about failed birth control, broken condoms, anibiotics causing the Pill to not work, and because you’re such a “good girl” you’ll never get raped?

  47. grumpy realist says:

    @Davebo: Heck, I’m in my 50s, am going through menopause, and I’m damned if I’m going to turn into a pious moralist pulling the ladder up behind me.

    Abortion has to remain legal. Or would you so-called “pro-lifers” prefer illegal ones?

  48. Barry says:

    @Just Me: “Obama can’t work with people and he doesn’t try. ”

    Considering how much he tried to work with the GOP, this is a flat-out lie.

  49. David M says:

    I don’t think it should be a surprise that there are economic benefits to birth control as well.

  50. swbarnes2 says:

    @Just Me:

    Let me just say this isn’t going to happen, however if it did, I wouldn’t murder the baby in my womb because it might cost more. I would find a way to make it work.

    Good for you that you have the magic money wand that will “make it work” no matter how many unwanted children you have. Not every woman has that.

    How would your death during pregnancy affect the economics of your household?

    If your pregnancy ends up threatening your life, threatening to make your children motherless, and your husband a widower, Democrats want you to be able to save your life. Republicans and conservatives will literally watch you die, believing it’s impossible that you could die from a pregnancy. Republican Joe Walsh literally said that last week.

    Also, you are voting for the party of this charmer:

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/fischer-political-leadership-ought-be-reserved-hands-males

    Fischer went on to reiterate that “masculine leadership in society over the nation” is “God’s basic plan for today” and “political leadership ought to be … reserved for the hands of males”

  51. MattT says:

    @Stan: …and be sold out of vending machines.

  52. anjin-san says:

    @JKB

    A remarkably stupid comment, even by your standards. Where is your anger towards women coming from? Not getting any?

  53. Stan says:

    @MattT: I don’t get it. Are you talkin’ to me?

  54. Just Me says:

    Say that to the women in locations where they don’t have birth control. And have 12,13, or more babies.

    I live in the United States where contraceptives are legal and for the most part socially acceptable.

    Also, I am not opposed to contraceptives, I am just opposed to requiring those who are religiously opposed being required to provide them.

    “It isn’t going to happen” because you’ve gone through menopause, or “It isn’t going to happen” because you never have to worry about failed birth control, broken condoms, anibiotics causing the Pill to not work, and because you’re such a “good girl” you’ll never get raped?

    Not sure why you feel like you have a right to this information. However, needless to say there are permanent ways to prevent pregnancy and those have been taken.

    Although, in your holier than thou, I know so much more than you could ever know opinion, I will also share that I have 2 children born because of failed pill issues (with bcp’s taken correctly). I have a beautiful daughter currently in college who wouldn’t be here if I had followed your advice and run off to the nearest abortion clinic to take care of the inconvenience. I also have a wonderful son who I assume is also disposable in your world view.

    Not a real fan of the assumption that because I do not support Obama and his economic policies and generally think his whole war on women spiel is bunk that I am clueless and have no experience with the tragedies and difficulties of life.

    Obama had his 4 years, and he isn’t getting 4 more if I have anything to say about it. Time for somebody else to get the chance.

    Good for you that you have the magic money wand that will “make it work” no matter how many unwanted children you have. Not every woman has that.

    I have no magic money, but breasfeeding comes about as cheap as anything. And having never been wealthy, I know how to make a budget work. Now, as I said pregnancy really isn’t something that is going to happen short of some huge medical miracle, but I don’t believe the best method of dealing with an unplanned pregnancy is killing the innocent baby in the womb. World view here varies, but I think it says a lot about a society in how they value the most innocent and weak among them.

  55. jan says:

    Cook has moved the following:

    Ohio from Lean D to Toss Up

    Wisconsin from Toss Up to Lean D

    North Carolina from Toss Up to Lean R

    Florida from Toss Up to Lean R

    Virginia from Toss Up to Lean R

  56. David M says:

    @Just Me:

    I am just opposed to requiring those who are religiously opposed being required to provide them.

    Churches are exempt from the contraceptive mandate, and insurance companies are covering the cost for religiously affiliated institutions.

    You’ve also talked about abortion quite a bit, and free birth control leads to fewer abortions.

  57. Rafer Janders says:

    @Just Me:

    I live in the United States where contraceptives are legal and for the most part socially acceptable.

    Well, thank god they never fail. 100% success rate at all times for contraceptives, right?

  58. Andre Kenji says:

    Most women that I know do not care about abortion. For a single reason: there is wide access for birth control. Here in Brazil Public hospitals and even Public Health Clinics distribute birth control(Both pills and condoms) for free to poor women. If you are going to have a baby there is 180 days of paid maternity leave and free childcare.

  59. jan says:

    @Just Me:

    A beautifully worded post! It’s honest, not full of BS and vitriol, like so many posters around here indulge themselves in. The nugget in your piece, though, that I identified with was:

    “Not a real fan of the assumption that because I do not support Obama and his economic policies and generally think his whole war on women spiel is bunk that I am clueless and have no experience with the tragedies and difficulties of life.

    Obama had his 4 years, and he isn’t getting 4 more if I have anything to say about it. Time for somebody else to get the chance.”

    The social progressives have become like little dictators in the belief that they know best than the rest of us. Also, the personal acrimony from them towards others with differing ideologies, like Michael Reynolds calling republicans “scum”, is simply a dumb way to distinguish yourself, your politics or to have a civil debate that might bring people more together. Basically it only lends itself to demeaning your side, not uplifting it into more credibility.

    Anyway, kudos for your clear thinking!

  60. swbarnes2 says:

    @Just Me:

    I have no magic money, but breasfeeding comes about as cheap as anything.

    You can’t be serious. Babies cost a little more than that.

    And if you were so ill that you could not breastfeed? Or if you had died shortly after birth?

    Do you sincerely think that those things never happen?

    And having never been wealthy, I know how to make a budget work.

    “Making a budget work” is not a magic charm that puts food on the table, and pays landlords. Some people do not have the money.

    If your pregnancy killed you, wouldn’t that make it a lot harder to make a budget work?

    Now, as I said pregnancy really isn’t something that is going to happen short of some huge medical miracle, but I don’t believe the best method of dealing with an unplanned pregnancy is killing the innocent baby in the womb.

    Okay, forget about that. Do you believe it’s possible for a woman’s pregnancy to kill her, to make her children motherless, and her husband a widower?

    Republicans like Joe Walsh literally do not believe this. We know this because they say so. Do you want to die because Republicans think your pregnancy is more important than your life? Do you want your daughter or granddaughter to die because Republicans think their pregnancies are more important than their lives? Is your vote going to make it more or less likely that your daughter would be able to save her own life if her pregnancy went tragically wrong?

    World view here varies, but I think it says a lot about a society in how they value the most innocent and weak among them.

    Okay, so a woman whose pregnancy is killing her is not innocent, the dirty slut. If she dies because Republican policy makes it impossible for doctors to save her live by ending her pregnancy, what does that say about the segment of society whose votes made that policy a reality?

  61. Rafer Janders says:

    @Just Me:

    Not sure why you feel like you have a right to this information.

    Because you posted on a public blog about your fertility status? You can’t write “I can never get pregnant!” and then, when someones asks “why?”, act all huffy that someone would dare to enquire.

  62. Rafer Janders says:

    @Just Me:

    Although, in your holier than thou, I know so much more than you could ever know opinion, I will also share that I have 2 children born because of failed pill issues (with bcp’s taken correctly). I have a beautiful daughter currently in college who wouldn’t be here if I had followed your advice and run off to the nearest abortion clinic to take care of the inconvenience. I also have a wonderful son who I assume is also disposable in your world view.

    What about all the beautiful children that you could have had, but didn’t, because you chose to use the Pill to prevent yourself getting pregnant? Didn’t they have a right to live? Why, if you weren’t so selfish you could have given birth to about ten more children, but I suppose their potential for life was disposable in your view.

  63. James in LA says:

    @Just Me: Please refrain from telling me that I do not understand something.

    I used the word seem, so it also seems your hurt feelings are mock self-righteous deflection.

    How nice you have a husband. How nice you have the choices you have. Why do you assume anyone else other than you has the same choices? Do you think your ability to make these choices arrived in a vacuum, that American women have always had them? You live like a princess compared to most of the rest of universe and you want to give lectures about condescension? Your rights to manage your own health care is under assault by theocratic men and all your greed can do is complain about “the economy stupid?”

    Go live in a part of the world where they cannot care for the children they have and get back to use about economic freedom. Someone mentioned the Philippines. I’d start there.

    Perhaps your husband can pay for the trip.

  64. David M says:

    @jan:

    The social progressives have become like little dictators in the belief that they know best than the rest of us.

    I can’t get over how warped this line of thinking is. You are still free to use or not use birth control as you wish, so there is no dictatorship in the near future. Not all women are in your exact circumstances, some will benefit greatly from free birth control. If you can’t acknowledge that fact then you are admitting you do not know best.

  65. grumpy realist says:

    @Rafer Janders: Also, I would like to point out that even such supposedly foolproof mechanisms such as sterilization….sometimes don’t.

    And given the spread of Catholic hospitals gobbling up other hospitals in mergers etc., it’s quite possible for a pregnant woman to have her wishes not listened to when it comes to an emergency. She might tell them “save me first.” Will they do so? No.

    When you talk about religious freedom, what about the freedom pregnant women should have? If I don’t believe a fetus is a human being before brain wave activity, why should I be forced to have the Catholic view of life imposed on me? If there’s only one hospital within the local area and it is a Catholic hospital which WILL NOT save my life when it comes to a choice between me and the fetus, what personhood am I left with?

  66. James in LA says:

    @jan: The social progressives have become like little dictators in the belief that they know best than the rest of us.

    This is pure projection. You seem to have missed the “choice” part of “pro-choice.” Government busy-bodies need not attend.

    What choices are Romney/Ryan offering? How do they intend to implement the law for those women that will most certainly defy them? Please be specific. I would jail them after each sex act — just to be safe.

  67. J-Dub says:

    @David M: I could not agree more! Democrats are not the ones telling people how to live their lives! It’s called pro-CHOICE for a reason, not pro-abortion.

  68. rudderpedals says:

    Molly Ball’s missive is at best a Tom Friedmanesque survey of the Freidman equivalent of taxi drivers. It detracts from the remainder of your article, James. Your gut is supported by Silver’s gap analysis. I felt as if led down the garden path with the Ball quote and article.

    OTOH it is your piece to write and I nevertheless enjoy reading all of your articles and quick takes

  69. Barry says:

    @Just Me: “Also, I am not opposed to contraceptives, I am just opposed to requiring those who are religiously opposed being required to provide them.”

    And to how many GOP-approved things does this position carry over to?

    I was not asked about my beliefs even one tine during the Bush years – the right did whatever they wanted and could get away with.

    Your rules.

  70. jan says:

    @James in LA:

    Everything you just said was over-the-top hyperbole. As for pro-choice language of the dems, it is more a gratuitous buzz word for them. Dems selectively use choice, as it applies politically to so-called woman’s ‘reproductive rights,’ which already has been deemed a constitutionally protected one. However, when it comes to school choice, presenting choice in HC options, choices to be unionized or not, or for that matter those who are in unions wanting a choice of where their dues are spent — these choices they actively opposed by social progressive democrats.

  71. Mr. Replica says:

    Everything you just said was over-the-top hyperbole

    hy·per·bo·le
       [hahy-pur-buh-lee] Show IPA
    noun Rhetoric .
    1.
    obvious and intentional exaggeration.
    2.
    an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

    James in LA:
    This is pure projection. You seem to have missed the “choice” part of “pro-choice.” Government busy-bodies need not attend.

    What choices are Romney/Ryan offering? How do they intend to implement the law for those women that will most certainly defy them? Please be specific. I would jail them after each sex act — just to be safe.

    Could someone explain to me how everything James in LA said is in fact hyperbole?

    Or is this just another example of Jan throwing out words without understanding the actual meaning of said words?

    Like this for example:

    Steven L. Taylor says:
    Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 21:44

    @jan:

    At this stage, Romney’s remarks seem almost prescient,

    ??

    “Prescient” refers to knowing the future. How has any of his statements on this topic been predictive or otherwise demonstrated foreknowledge?

  72. David M says:

    @jan:

    “these choices [are] actively opposed by social progressive democrats”

    when it comes to school choice

    No Democrats are proposing to outlaw private schools.

    presenting choice in HC options

    Giving people the option to purchase comprehensive health care insurance is taking away their choice? That makes no sense.

    choices to be unionized or not, or for that matter those who are in unions wanting a choice of where their dues are spent

    The GOP is the party that opposes the right to form a union and wants to interfere with the union’s right to make their own choices. You could not have this more wrong if you tried.

  73. James in LA says:

    @jan: You are free to call my remarks a ham sandwich. It does not excuse advocates of draconian anti-health legislation from answering central questions regarding the consequences.

    So let us come right to the point. I would not want to lose you again down any messy hyperbolic pathways, so let me be direct: if Roe v Wade falls, your tax dollars will most certainly go to hospitals to pay for the emergency care of women who will most certainly defy these invasive laws and seek less that accredited abortion services. Rich women, of course, will just go on the black market.

    Is this the future you want? You cannot compel pregnancy. Period. Start with that fact.

    Further, what punishments do you intend for women who will most certainly defy you? Please be specific. What rights will be left to the mother once she has sex?

  74. sam says:

    @jan:

    Dems selectively use choice, as it applies politically to so-called woman’s ‘reproductive rights,’ which already has been deemed a constitutionally protected one.

    And just how long do you think that will survive if Governor Romney as president appoints another Scalia or Alito to the Court?

  75. grumpy realist says:

    @jan: Jan, I suggest you actually read the cases deciding that “Constitutionally protected right.” Look what was said by the dissent. And then imagine a Supreme Court that had a few other justices of that opinion.

    “Constitutionally protected right” my ass. I’m quite sure Scalia would overturn Griswold if he could get away with it.

  76. giantslor says:

    Writing an entire story about how one poll shows the race has fundamentally changed should be a fireable offense. Unfortunately the editors and publishers are encouraging this instead, because it’s “dramatic” and “juicy.” For-profit journalism is misinforming us and damaging our democracy.

  77. pcbedamned says:

    @legion:

    Heh!!! Though, I have to tell you, when I got my ass kicking from my sanctimonious high horse, it was more than hard enough ;-}

    @Barry:

    Yes. Thank you for recognizing this. At least in my case it is true. Two years ago I found out my husband had been sexually abusing our daughter from the ages of 3-16. He is presently in prison, and all of a sudden, I no longer “had mine” (lost our business, all the great toys, as well as because we live in a small town, became pariahs, due to the fact that he was also Very Involved within our community with children’s sports). All of a sudden all those things I too once railed about (“those people on gov assistance”) became my life. And a humbling experience it is. I am so very thankful to live in “Kommie Kanada” where our social safety net is abundant. Though I lost everything else, I did manage to hold onto our house. As well, Victim Services and our wonderful Health Care covers all the therapy and meds we now rely on.
    Now, as to the issue that Just Me and Jan troll on about, again, so glad to be Canadian where these are non issues. But then again, we Canadians are not as uptight as many Americans when it comes to sex. See, we Know teens are going there. Oh, yes they are! Hell, I put my own daughter on the pill at 14 when I found a suggestive note she had written to some boy. Did I like it? NO. But I would hate to have been a grandmother at 38. Of course now I am doubly glad due to not having to have to face her having an abortion Due To Incest! See? Real Life. Not just an abstract. It Happens!!! And so does “saving the life of the mother” come into play at times (http://tinyurl.com/pcbedamned).
    When I mentioned in my original post up thread about no man being an island, I meant it. I had to discover it the hard way. If only people would take the time to listen to Other People!!!!! Very few want a handout. Very few want to mooch and get anything and everything they can for free. And VERY few women choose with a light heart, to end a pregnancy. Some of them, aren’t even givin the choice.
    There is no excuse for such ignorance or selfishness in 2012. Anyone can now see what is going on in the world. Oh, and media liberal biased? Get your heads out of your asses. Far righters only watch Fox. I know – I was one. Turn off the propaganda machine and enhance your knowledge (it will also decrease your heart rate and anxiety – true story!!!!).

  78. An Interested Party says:

    The division, by the dems, of this country into nothing but special interest groups, in-fighting with each other, has gotten to be old, rancid and bearing down on poisonous, in lieu of the perilous issues now facing us, both domestically and abroad.

    I see you have been infected with the same projection disease that afflicts Tsar Nicholas…as if Republicans do not divide the country into special interest groups and use in-fighting to maintain their political power…please…

    …I have lost my job, pay more for my gas, more for my groceries, and more for my utilities.

    And of course these things are all the direct fault of the President…meanwhile, Romney will come in, spread some magic free market pixie dust, and everything will be right with the world again, just like it was under Bush…I thought conservatives were supposed to be rugged individualists who didn’t whine and blame other people for their problems but, rather, picked themselves up by their own bootstraps and took care of their own problems…

  79. al-Ameda says:

    During this campaign season Republican have done everything they can to alienate women under the age of 70.

    I’d like to thank them for all their efforts to deliver the female vote to Obama

  80. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    The social progressives have become like little dictators in the belief that they know best than the rest of us.

    Yes, supporting equal protection under the law, and favoring allowing women to control their reproductive health choices are so oppressive and dictatorial.