Since women are the majority of the citizens, politicians naturally worry about how they vote.
Despite the commonly-held belief that a large majority of women votes Democratic most of the time, the facts beg to differ.
True enough, single women vote Democratic by a wide margin, but the majority of married women tend to vote Republican. A very large majority of minority women vote Democratic, but that is consistent with the voting pattern of minority men.
Many prognosticators and pollsters have been saying that in the upcoming election women will be abandoning the Democrats. One assumes that they see unmarried women shifting their allegiance.
As for why this should be so, super–editor Tina Brown has offered an excellent analysis. Speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe yesterday, Brown said:
… the fact is that Obama’s down with everybody, let's face it, there’s a reason. And I think that particularly for women. I don't think it makes them feel safe. I think they're feeling unsafe. Economically, they’re feeling unsafe. With regard to ISIS, they’re feeling unsafe. They feel unsafe about Ebola. What they’re feeling unsafe about is the government response to different crises. And I think they're beginning to feel a bit that Obama’s like that guy in the corner office, you know, who's too cool for school, calls a meeting, says this has to change, doesn't put anything in place to make sure it does change, then it goes wrong and he's blaming everybody.
I suspect that Brown supported Obama in two elections, so we may count her among the disillusioned former Obama supporters.
What does Brown mean when she suggests that women feel “unsafe” under Obama?
As I understand it, she is saying that women do not believe that Obama is sufficiently manly or fatherly. They do not believe that he is in charge, that he takes responsibility, or that he will protect their interests.
Traditionally, fathers have been protectors and providers. In today’s culture the roles seem a bit anachronistic, but apparently women are still dismayed when they place themselves under the protection of a man who is not up to the role.
Brown sees an opportunity for Republicans, but here her thinking becomes slightly fuzzier.
But at the same time, we ought to think about what Republicans are doing for women, which is very little, you know. I mean, they were against … they blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act --the fourth time since 2012. You know, they are really just not helping women at all. This gap in the economy is terrible. The fact that women are losing their jobs even more than men because of this whole kind of part-time issue and the economy's terrible. So, you know, it's not good.
One should not confuse the Paycheck Fairness Act with the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The former was blocked by Republicans. The latter was signed by President Obama in 2009 and is thus, the law.
The Paycheck Fairness Act supposedly addresses the disparity between the wages earned by men and women. As you doubtless know, the reasons for this disparity have been strenuously debated. Some have suggested that if you factor in the different occupations chosen by men and women and if you consider the fact that women with children choose to work less… the gap shrinks appreciably.
Be that as it may, Brown is emphasizing that the Obama economic recovery has not been kind to women. She is right to say that women have lost more jobs than men under Obama and that new jobs, ones that women have taken, are often part-time.
It’s the story of the Obama recovery and the failure has fallen disproportionately on women.
Strangely, Brown seems to believe that Republicans are to blame for the Obama recovery. She also seems to believe that it can all be solved with another piece of legislation that creates more bureaucracy and that might make it more difficult to hire women.
She does not consider the possibility that Obamacare has something to do with the anemic recovery and fails to see that an administration that has encumbered the economy with a massive pile of new regulations has in some way been caused economic opportunity to shrink, for both men and women.
This means that Republicans need to do a better job showing how the nation’s current economic malaise is a direct result of Obama administration policies. They need to show how women have suffered in the Obama economy.
Of course, it would have been nice if more women voters had had these realizations before the 2012 elections. Alas, too many of them were more concerned with Sandra Fluke’s free birth control pills.
Brown’s analysis suggests that Republicans would do well to run someone who is a seasoned executive in 2016, a candidate with demonstrated leadership skills and competence.
Young legislators with lots of big ideas are not what the nation needs and are not going to capture the nation’s imagination.