Gingrich’s Gender Gap

During the lead up to the South Carolina Primary, there was some evidence of a growing problem for Newt Gingrich with female voters in the wake of the new allegations made by one of his ex-wives. As it turned out, no gender gap materialized in the South Carolina Exit Polls. That wasn’t true last night in Florida:

For the first time in the campaign, exit polls showed a gender gap, and it worked to Romney’s advantage.

He was leading Gingrich 51-28 among women voters and was winning men by a far smaller margin of 41-35.

Ominously for the thrice-married Gingrich, only about half of women voters said they had a favorable view of him as a person, compared to about eight in 10 for Romney.

If that continues in future contests, it’s hard to see how Gingrich would ever be able to pass Romney.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Gender Issues, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. James Joyner says:

    Who could ever have predicted this?

  2. Fiona says:

    Not only does Romney score points for being faithful and standing by his wife through MS and breast cancer but, let’s face it, he has the far more appealing wife. She’s attractive without looking overdone; comes off as down-to-earth and affable when speaking (far more so than her husband); and is obviously sympathetic having battled to major diseases and won.

    Callista, on the other hand, not only suffers from the disadvantage of being the younger mistress turned trophy wife, but also comes across as a tightly wound, controlling money grubber who likes bright shining things. The plastic hair and impeccably tailored suits don’t help. She looks like the kind of woman who’d have a hissy fit if someone actually sat on her plastic-covered couch.

  3. Fiona says:

    Plus, Newt sent his daughters out to trash his second wife (and their first stepmom) instead of refuting her claims himself. In doing so, he lost the stepmom vote.

  4. sam says:

    TPM has a great interactive map of the precincts in Florida. Look at the spread.

  5. Scott O. says:

    I’m sure an esteemed historian could point out to us that this is a clear example of why the founding fathers never intended that women be given the right to vote and that passage of the 19th amendment was a giant step towards Kenyan anti-colonialism.

  6. PD Shaw says:

    @Fiona: Nice breakdown on the wives. I’m tempted to refer to her as his Stepford wife because she’s always there as wallpaper in just about every speech he gives, but I’ve not heard her speak. Probably not fair to her, but its getting kind of creepy.

  7. legion says:

    Well, Newt, you can’t marry ’em all…

  8. JohnMcC says:

    Can’t resist repeating something that I read but can’t remember where: One of the most interesting things about this campaign is waiting for that thing on Callista’s head to leap off and bite someone.

  9. Alex says:

    @PD Shaw: Of course she’s always there. If she was paying attention at all to Newt’s previous marriages, she knows exactly what happens when his wife leaves him unattended. If she were to leave his side for even a single moment to go shopping or to get chemotherapy or to do anything frivolous like that, who knows what mischief he might get into!

  10. PJ says:

    Romney has a gender gap too, not as big as Gingrich’s gap though.

    Among men Romney gets 73-24 (+62) and among women 79-17 (+49), so the net is 13 points higher among women than men.
    Gingrich gets 62-34 (+28) among men and 48-46 (+2) among women, so the net is 26 points higher among men than women.