From The Wall Street Journal:
GOP Gains in Key Senate Races as Gender Gap Narrows
In Iowa, Arkansas and Colorado, Democrats’ Advantage Among Women Voters Has Diminished
By Janet Hook | Updated Oct. 23, 2014 8:08 p.m. ET
In a warning flag for Democrats, recent polls suggest the party is failing to draw enough support from women in three key Senate races—in Iowa, Arkansas and Colorado—to offset the strong backing that men are giving to Republicans.
Surveys this week in Arkansas and Colorado for the first time also showed the GOP candidates pulling even or ahead of Democrats among women voters, threatening to close the gender gap that has been a cornerstone of Democratic electoral strategy for decades.
While the situation remains fluid, an erosion in the Democrats’ traditionally large advantage among women would be perilous for the party, especially in an election year in which men, who favor Republicans overall, are showing a greater enthusiasm for voting.
Democrats are making a particular effort to mobilize unmarried women—their strongest supporters, but a group that tends to skip midterm elections. However, the rise of national-security concerns and low approval ratings for President Barack Obama may undercut that effort.
Click to enlarge
Note the next to last sentence in the quoted section: unmarried women are the Democrats’ strongest supporters. Married women, on the other hand, normally favor Republicans. In 2012
Fifty-three percent of married female voters went for Romney. Among single women, by contrast, Romney was about as popular as an extra 20 pounds; a mere 31 percent supported him. The gap between married and single women, then, is wider than the male-female gap that the media have been touting. And it isn’t new; married women have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, with the one exception of 1996, when they preferred President Clinton by 4 percentage points.
The Democrats love unmarried women, but it’s a prospect that sets up some of their strongest supporters for economic failure: married people are simply better off financially than are singles, including unmarried cohabiting couples. The reasons are, or at least ought to be, obvious: the economies of scale, along with shared household responsibilities, and greater economic commitment to the relationship and each other. The Democrats seem to think that issues like contraception are important, but married women use contraception just as much as do single women, yet the Democrats’ fear ploy — the Republicans are going to ban birth control! — seems to have little effect on married women.
The Democrats are in the position of getting a large percentage of their votes from poorer people, and thus needing poverty to remain higher rather than lower to have any electoral success. The thing that women, the thing that men as well, can do that will have the greatest positive impact on their financial well-being, is to get married, buy a house, and have children. In other words, the thing that people can do which will help them the most financially is to become the type of person who is most likely to vote Republican!
As Eric, a frequent commenter and far less frequent writer on this site, is wont to say, “The sexual revolution is over, and men won.” Yup, that’s exactly right. We used to have cultural norms which linked sexual activity to real commitment, to marriage or at least to an intent to marry, and those norms encouraged earlier marriages and put a stigma on bearing children out of wedlock. In our efforts to be fair to women, those cultural norms were ended, having the predictable results of later marriage, more often people never marrying, and far more children born out of wedlock. The left may see those as good and fair changes, but they have had the obvious economic consequences as well: children born out of wedlock usually wind up living part of their lives with only one parent, and that means a far greater likelihood of living in poverty. It doesn’t matter how good and strong and noble and dedicated a single parent may be, he still can’t do the work of two people, both in providing economic means and keeping a good home.
We have noted previously that culture plays a role in economic achievement, and that efforts to change the culture will have economic consequences. The cultural changes encouraged by the left have had the predictable economic results, as more people fell into the trap of being “liberated” from the old, staid ways . . . and wound up being liberated from prosperity as well. It does not seem to have occurred to many people that the older American culture developed the way that it did precisely because it yielded better economic results.
The oft-ridiculed Vice President Dan Quayle famously said:
Bearing babies irresponsibly is simply wrong. Failing to support children one has fathered is wrong. We must be unequivocal about this. It doesn’t help matters when prime-time TV has Murphy Brown, a character who supposedly epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly paid professional woman, mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice.
Mr Quayle noted the obvious problem: the Murphy Brown character was a “highly paid professional woman,” who had the financial resources to pay someone else to do the family chores she didn’t have the time to do. But, in our society, unwed mothers are rarely highly paid professional women; they are far more likely to be working class women who are barely scraping by on their own, now being burdened with child care expenses as well as the costs of surviving themselves. The left simply assumed that inexpensive contraception and legal abortion would avoid the cultural problems associated with changing sexual morés, but the results have been far different. Vice President Quayle was widely ridiculed for his statement, but it turned out that he was absolutely right.
The economic results are unchallengable. The economic policies advocated by the Republicans have proved to be more productive than those pushed by the Democrats — and would be even more so if the Republicans had stuck to their guns more strongly concerning deficit spending — and the people who follow the traditional cultural path in our society, the people who are more likely to vote Republican, have stronger overall financial results within their families.
The Democrats tried to use the Sandra Fluke meme to say that Republicans who opposed using the Affordable Care Act to force churches and religious people who did not believe that contraception was moral to have to provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plans anyway to claim that the Republicans were waging some kind of “War on Women,” but they got it exactly backwards; it is the Democrats, in their push to continually enable cultural choices which lead more rather than fewer women into poverty who are waging the real “War on Women.”