Click the image on the right to see the New York Times story.
Women, Catholics, the middle class, independents went strongly for Obama in 2008. In 2010, they’re breaking for Republicans in numbers that exceed even those of 1994, the last major wave election that favored the GOP.
College graduates and suburban dwellers, which split about evenly between Obama and McCain, are also now strongly favoring the GOP.
Women are the key this year. Even in the Glorious Revolution of 1994, women favored Democrats and gave rise to the so-called “gender gap” that persisted throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s.
The “gender gap” now favors the Republicans. Political analysts and the chattering classes will spend hours upon hours and chew up terabytes of bandwidth trying to explain why women have shifted so strongly.
I think I can sum it up in one sentence:
Women, particularly those who have children or grandchildren, are strongly concerned about the future of their country and their children.
The 1990’s were a period of transition between the Cold War and the 21st Century, which Bill Clinton skillfully used to campaign on women’s issues while playing on fears that Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole, were insensitive to the needs of middle class families.
The Obama coalition played from a nearly identical sheet of music, but then governed in the first two years as a clear and present danger to the long term financial solvency of the country.
No woman who loves her children and wants to see them live in a better future can look at the current fiscal situation and conclude that her children will be better off tomorrow than she is today. I think another strong undercurrent is that many of the most popular candidates running for office in 2010 are women just like the Main Street Mom. They’re successful, strong-willed and well-educated women who have juggled the hectic concoction of home and professional life. They are women of character, commitment and confidence. If they can handle marriage, work, kids and community, restoring America’s commitment to prosperity is a cinch.