by Steven Ertelt
June 23, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President George W. Bush won a higher share of the women’s vote in 2004 than he did in 2000, but leading abortion advocates say that gain has vanished and claim the gender gap has returned.
"The gender gap is back, and it is healthy," Ellen Malcolm, president of EMILY’s List, told the Scripps Howard News Service.
The pro-abortion groups that helps elected women who back abortion released the results of a new survey on Wednesday supposedly showing women retreating from Bush.
In 2004, 48 percent of women voters backed the president, 5 points higher than his 2000 showing and 10 percent higher than Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole received in 1996.
Yet, the EMILY’s List poll shows one-third of the women who backed Bush in 2004 don’t plan to vote Republican in 2006. Women favored Democrats over Republicans for Congress in 2006 43 to 32 percent.
"We see the erosion that has now been appearing in many polls for the Republicans is almost solely attributable to the shift of women voters," Malcolm explained.
But other political observers say the poll represents disappointment with the war in Iraq and the state of the economy and that the polling numbers will change.
Carl Forti, of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Scripps Howard that polls showing a partisan breakdown nationally for Congress have little bearing.
He indicated most Congressional races turn on local issues and local candidates and that voters almost always back the incumbent. That means Republicans will do well in 2006 since they have the majority in the House.
"Until, in a particular district, you say, ‘Are you going to vote for Candidate X or Candidate Y?’ you can’t get a good comparison," he said.
The EMILY’s List poll also shows women who backed Bush haven’t switched to supporting Democrats. Instead, they’re undecided about 2006. Also, 20 percent of Kerry voters are undecided as well.
The poll also found that abortion is not a top concern for women. When asked, women voted cited social security, Iraq, health care, education, decline of morality, and terrorism.
The survey and analysis of 2,007 women and 606 men was conducted May 18-26 by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group and The Feldman Group.