U.S. President Barack Obama greets supporters during a campaign rally at Cornell College in Mt Vernon, Iowa, October 17, 2012. Obama is campaigning in Iowa and Ohio on Wednesday following the second presidential debate against Mitt Romney on October 16. (Photo : Reuters)
Women in 12 key swing states list gender-specific issues as the top issues concerning women as opposed to men who list gender-neutral issues, a new poll by Gallup revealed.
The results, conducted by USA Today/Gallup, is based on a poll among registered voters in Florida, Iowa, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and New Hampshire. It was carried out between October 5 and October11, prior to the second presidential election.
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According to the poll, women listed abortion (39 percent) above jobs (19 percent) and healthcare (18 percent). On the other hand, men listed jobs (38 percent) above the economy (37 percent) and budget deficit (10 percent). The report stated that on a national level, men and women largely correspond with the responses given by their swing-state counterparts.
While both men and women share concerns on the economy and on jobs, only women in swing states list two issues that are specific to their gender, Gallup reported. Abortion is the No. 1 concern among women in those states and is trailed by equal rights (15 percent). Men list no gender-specific issues among their top concerns.
These differences in election priorities may be attributed to several key factors, Gallup said. According to a March 2012 report by the National Bureau of Economic Research, men felt the economic consequences of the recession more than women did. On the other hand, the considerable restrictions on abortion in several states may increase concerns felt by women.
The Gallup poll found that men and women voters in swing states largely agree on the importance of five issues: unemployment, federal budget deficit and national debt, healthcare, international issues and government policies concerning birth control. The notable exception is government policies regarding birth control. Female voters overwhelmingly believe it to be "an extremely or very important issue" (60 percent) as opposed to male voters (39 percent).
According to Gallup, female registered voters in the swing states place higher trust in President Barack Obama than in Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The only issue that women support Romney on is the federal budget deficit and national debt, 48 percent to 47 percent.
Men, however, largely support the GOP candidate in most issues. The only exception is government policies regarding birth control, where men support Obama (55 percent) over Romney (35 percent).
The results of Gallup's poll suggest that men and women are divided in their presidential preferences due to differences in issue prioritization. Women, unlike men, place a higher concern on social issues of abortion and equality.
Obama holds a clear advantage over Romney concerning these issues and will need to continue the emphasis on social issues to maintain the female vote. Romney, however, must play into women's support of his plans for the federal budget deficit and national debt to attract their vote.
The candidates will have one last opportunity to appeal to voters at a national scale during the final presidential debate next week. The debate, which is scheduled for October 22, will be held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. and will focus on foreign policy issues.
Swing-State Map Oct. 2012 (Politico)
See the latest updates to the Swing-State Map 2012, here.