The Political Gaps
Think for a moment about what you didn't hear about in the recent election season. Something you were probably sick of hearing about in news coverage in every election for the past few decades. All about how Republicans don't fare well with women voters. The called it the "gender gap".
For years it was put forward that Republicans were at a disadvantage among female voters largely due to the abortion issue. Those crazy Republican's pro-life tendencies were the cause of it all. If only the GOP would not allow those radical pro-lifers to run their party and stop being so intolerant and mean, then maybe women would flock to their cause.
Every election cycle we heard it again, but with a new twist. There was the "Year of the woman" in '92, and then "soccer moms" all through the late 90's and 2000. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the 2004 election. The gender gap disappeared.
Well, sort of. I say sort of because the 2004 exit polls tell us that, if there is anything close to representing a "gender gap" in American politics today it is the Democrats gender gap among men. That's right, the "no testosterone" party is down among the Y chromosome crowd by a whopping eleven percent. Women on the other hand slightly favored the Democratic nominee, but only by fifty-one to forty-eight percent. And this year, men made up fifty-one percent of all votes cast.
This goes a long way towards explaining why you DON'T hear the predominantly liberal media talking about the "gender gap" any more€¦because it doesn't cut against Republicans. That's journalistic integrity for you.
But what about other gaps? There is the "abortion gap". That's the one that shows the difference in support for the two parties among voters based on their position on the abortion issue.
A post election poll conducted by Worthlin Worldwide demonstrated that pro-life candidates had a nearly two-to-one margin of support among the forty-two percent of voters that said the abortion issue "affected how they voted".
Further, eight percent of voters responded that abortion was "the most important issue" in determining who they voted for. Six percent went for Bush and two percent for Kerry a pro-life advantage of four percentage points of total turnout. When you consider that the average election in America is won or lost by less than five percent of the vote, the importance of that number becomes pretty clear. (See Florida, 2000 and Ohio, 2004).
Want another? How about the "marriage gap"? This one's a doozy. It shows that Kerry took un-married voters by eighteen percent, but then lost among married voters by fifteen percent a thirty-three percent swing! Further, married voters outnumber un-marrieds by sixty-three to thirty-seven percent.
Apparently something happens to people when they get married that causes them to run from Democrats. Could it have something to do with liberal policies being perceived as less family friendly? Married people generally pay more in taxes, have a greater stake in the economy and are (rightfully so) more likely to have children. Probably as a result they tend to do things like go to church more often and generally be concerned about the overall coarsening of our culture.
In fact, this was the third election in a row where (aside from the black vote) the most reliable statistical indicator of how an individual will vote was based on an affirmative answer to three questions: Are they married? Do they have kids? And do they attend church on a regular basis? A yes to all three puts you deep in GOP territory.
Then there's the "ideology gap", which showed equal percentages of liberals voted for Kerry as conservatives who voted for Bush, (eighty-five percent), but that self-identified conservatives outnumber liberals thirty-four to twenty-one percent.
Last but not least, there's the "values gap". It seems that the voters who placed a premium on moral issues might have been partially responsible for some political pros' misreading of the tea leaves in the run-up to the election. The responses to the pre-election polls regarding the overall direction of the country, (the "right track / wrong track" question), had a majority of voters saying they felt the country was headed in the wrong direction.
The media wrongly assumed that meant that they were unhappy with the President. What it actually appears to have meant for many people was that they were unhappy with such things as gay marriage, abortion, activist judges and a host of other values related issues. When it came time to vote, they pulled the lever for W.
In fact, voters who based their vote on "moral issues" supported President Bush by better than eighty percent. Now that's a gap.