For decades, women have been a powerful electoral force — probably the most significant demographic group when it comes to voting for president. In 2012, women outvoted men casting 53% of the ballots. This cycle will be no different.
Women also swayed the vote President Barack Obama’s way, with 55% punching in his name compared to 44% voting for former Governor Mitt Romney. This is compared to a 52% majority of men who voted for Romney.
We have a woman as the presumptive Democratic nominee and a businesswoman in the Republican primary race who has engendered a certain enthusiasm for her campaign, though high poll numbers were short-lived.
Less than a year out from the November 2016 election, initiatives have started tapping into the largest electoral demographic.
One of the longest-running Web sites in the country dedicated to a female audience, “WomensForum,” is launching a section on their site specifically focused on the 2016 federal elections. The “Her Vote ‘16” section, will include candidate profiles and specific statements by the candidates on issues of importance to women.
“WomensForum” will focus on one-to-one targeting, offering advertisers a platform to direct their marketing with increased individualization.
Additional developments in this vein include Rock the Vote, partnering with “bebe,” a women’s apparel line, to engage young female voters in the electoral process. The crux of the partnership will be a new tab on the “bebe” site that brings users to a voter registration form and a frequently asked questions section.
In addition to these resources, “bebe” will add stories from customers elaborating on why the voting process is important to them.
Republicans will have an uphill battle to realize the successes the Democratic Party has had with the women’s vote. A pillar of the Republican platform is fewer services, smaller government. One of those services widely deemed unworthy of federal funding includes health services offered by Planned Parenthood.
According to a Pew Research report, cited in a previous column, women do prefer smaller government with fewer services to the alternative — 48% of female respondents in the poll said that they prefer a smaller government with fewer services, whereas only 42% want bigger government with more services. Though this may be a function of general disillusionment with the federal government, women generally have more progressive political inclinations than men.
The 2016 presidential election will, by all estimates, be an important one for women, not least because we may inaugurate our first female president come January 2017.