In 2008, President Barack Obama won women 56-43, while narrowly edging out John McCain among men 49-48. That 12-point gender gap appeared massive at the time, but it appears that we're headed toward an even bigger margin in 2012.
The latest data from our Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation weekly poll by PPP shows a consistent and massive gender gap in Obama favorability ratings this year:
And PPP isn't the only outfit showing this kind of gap. Pew found a similar-sized gap:
Barack Obama’s lead over [Mitt] Romney is attributable in large part to his wide advantage among women, younger voters, and nonwhites. Women favor Obama over Romney by 20 points – virtually unchanged from a month ago – while men are divided almost evenly (49% Obama, 46% Romney). This gender gap is particularly wide among voters under age 50. Women ages 18-49 favor Obama over Romney by nearly two-to-one (64% to 33%), while men the same age are split (50% Obama, 46% Romney).The problem with Republicans is that they can't back out of their anti-women agenda without enraging their macho asshole base, while the Rush Limbaughs of the party gleefully stoke those fires. And while it may be too late for any Republican to capitalize on the Romney campaign "Etch-a-Sketch" fiasco, it will have major repercussion in the general election—by forcing Romney to adhere to his latest crazy right positions lest he validate the narrative that he's got no core or convictions.
And then there's the full-fledged and unabated state-level assault on women freedoms from Tea Party conservatives in legislatures from Alaska to Virginia.
Women made up 53 percent of the national presidential vote in 2008, and that number ain't gonna get smaller this year. Unlike many other core Democratic constituencies, women actually outperform their share of the population, and I wouldn't be surprised to see that 6-point gap (53-47) from 2008 stretch even wider. And if that 12-point gender gap from 2008 ends up a 20-point gap this year, there's no way Republicans can win.
Again, Republicans face a demographic deficit, angering and alienating Latinos, Asians, African Americans, gays, and women. And while elections are never simple math (women + latinos = win!), it's really is hard to see how Republicans see victory in alienating all but the smallest sliver of the American people.