And there’s no reason to believe it will work in 2014. The exit polls tell the real story.
For the Wall Street Journal, Michael Medved writes: President Obama is suddenly upset about the alleged wage gap between men and women, but he’s not responding to a national economic crisis. Instead, he is attempting to revive the “war on women” theme that, according to Washington wisdom, helped carry Democrats to victory in 2012 and might do again in 2014. If this narrative were true, the White House could spend the year demonizing Republicans as women-hating creeps, driving women to the polls in November and helping the party hold the Senate.
But the conventional analysis isn’t accurate. National exit polls from 2012 show scant success for the war-on-women ploy, and there’s no reason to think trotting it out again will help Democrats in the midterms.
True enough, Mr. Obama won the overall female vote by 11 points in 2012—55% to 44%—but that’s hardly remarkable for a Democratic presidential candidate. Al Gore fared the same in 2000, prevailing among women by an identical 11-point advantage. Mr. Obama did better with women in 2008, beating John McCain by 56% to 43%. He enjoyed that advantage even though his first campaign never emphasized “women’s issues” and despite the presence of a woman— Sarah Palin—on the Republican ticket.
A closer look at the numbers reveals that Mr. Obama’s success with the ladies actually stemmed from his well-known appeal to minority voters. In 2012, 72% of all women voters identified themselves as “white.”
This subset preferred Mitt Romney by a crushing 14-point advantage, 56% to 42%. Though Democrats ratcheted up the women’s rhetoric in the run-up to Election Day, the party did poorly among the white women it sought to influence: The Republican advantage in this crucial segment of the electorate doubled to 14 points in 2012 from seven points in 2008. In the race against Mr. Romney, Obama carried the overall female vote—and with it the election—based solely on his success with the 28% of women voters who identified as nonwhite. He carried 76% of Latina women and a startling 96% of black women.
The same discrepancy exists when considering marital status. In 2012, nearly 60% of female voters were married, and they preferred Mr. Romney by six points, 53% to 46%. Black and Latina women, on the other hand, are disproportionately represented among unmarried female voters, and they favored Mr. Obama by more than 2-to-1, 67% to 31%.
When leading pundits, pollsters and prognosticators seem to agree that the re-election of President Obama is all but inevitable, why do grassroots Democrats seem so anxious and depressed?
If the president’s most ardent supporters feel soul-deep certainty that their candidate has richly earned another term in office, then how is it that they universally acknowledge that he’ll draw far fewer votes than he did as an untried freshman senator four years ago?
A revealing report by Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chroniclefound local liberals “so freaked out about the prospect of President Obama losing his re-election bid that they can’t sleep at night. Can’t talk about anything else. Can’t stop parsing the latest polls.” In a particularly alarming confession, one retired educator said she’s become “so distraught she can’t exercise.” David Plouffe, a top Obama strategist, found such panic attacks so common among his fellow Democrats that he’s even coined a name for the victims: he calls them “bed-wetters.”
In a sense, the recent media mantra about Chris Christie “rescuing” or “saving” the Obama campaign reflects the same sense of desperation about the president’s prospects. Why would a confident, successful chief executive who has masterfully concluded his triumphant term ever require rescue from the boisterous governor of New Jersey? If a few warm words about from a combative, partisan Republican look like a life preserver for Barack Obama, it would seem to suggest that he was, in fact, previously drowning…
via The Daily Beast