The gender gap is real, and it’s bigger than it’s ever been since the dawn of political polls. So says Steve Kornacki.
Republican and their media sympathizers respond to this challenge by either denying the gender gap is real or by mistaking us for caterpillars. And then there’s the Michael Gerson route, in which Gerson admits the gender gap is real but denies it has anything to do with Republican maneuvers on contraception or other “women’s” issues.
The media â€” ever drawn to simple explanations that reinforce their own cultural expectations â€” have diagnosed Romneyâ€™s gender-based electoral weakness as the result of his opposition to the contraceptive mandate. This is both initially plausible and demonstrably false. More than 60 percent of American voters donâ€™t even know Romneyâ€™s position on the mandate â€” a topic they rank near the bottom of their political concerns. And when pressed, a majority of women affirm that religious institutions should be exempted from the mandate.
First — the issue is bigger than just the contraception mandate. It seems that for the past several months there has been one “women’s” issue after another the GOP has bungled. Second, the gender gap is being driven by one particular slice of the demographic pie — college-educated women under the age of 50. They are stampeding to Obama in droves. And you can bet your Jimmy Choo spike-heel booties that those women understand the contraception issue (and everything else) better than Gerson does.
Hilariously, Gerson thinks Mittens can win women back by taking a page out of Dubya’s 2000 playbook, which was co-authored by Gerson …
In 2000, George W. Bush campaigned â€” in both the primaries and the general election â€” on increasing the quality of education for poor children, on humane immigration reform and on expanding care by faith-based organizations for the addicted and homeless. These issues were personally important to Bush. They also signaled to independents and women that he could think beyond normal ideological boundaries. This form of â€œcompassionate conservatismâ€ is now broadly reviled among conservatives. The need for an analogous agenda, whatever it is called, remains unchanged. To secure a decent shot at this election, Romney will need to offer some positive vision for the common good.
In other words, the guy already famous for his off-the-cuff remarks about the thrill of firing people, ending Planned Parenthood, and telling financially squeezed college students that they just need to find a cheaper college — and let us not forget the dog — will figure out how to fake caring? Well enough to fool anybody? Right.
See also Ed Kilgore.
Oh, and Frothy is suspending his campaign.