Getting Out The Female Vote

One cringe-worthy attempt from the GOP:

Joan Walsh raises an eyebrow:

Yes, admaker Rick Wilson and Americans for Shared Prosperity believe the way to convince women to vote for Republicans is to compare the president to a bad boyfriend. Obviously they think we’re idiots who put romance before reason, even in politics.

Meanwhile, on the Dem side, Greg Sargent explains why 53 percent is their magic number:

[The battle for the female vote] is often discussed in terms of the “gender gap,” i.e., the margin any given Democratic candidate enjoys among women. That’s important, but Dems are also eying another key goal: How to drive up the share of the 2014 electorate that women represent. Democratic strategists familiar with the hardest fought and probably most critical Senate races — in Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, and Arkansas — all tend to gravitate towards citing 53 percent as an important, if approximate, threshold. That is, they privately say that if the electorates in their states approach 53 percent women, and their candidates enjoy a reasonable advantage among them (as some polls suggest they do already), then their chances of winning improve. This is key to Dem hopes of making the electorate look more like it did in 2012 than in 2010.

Albert Hunt agrees that women voters are key:

This year, it’s Democrats who are on the defensive. In the 10 most competitive Senate races, they are counting on different assets in different states: solid turnout of black voters in the South, Hispanics in Colorado and Alaskan natives. But almost everywhere, Democrats need a big margin — at least in the double digits – with female voters.

But Ramesh Ponnuru downplays the importance of the gender gap. He cites a recent CBS/NYT poll that had the GOP “six points up among likely voters and only one point down among women”:

In 2006, the gender gap was four points: Men gave Republicans 47 percent of their House votes, women 43. In 2010, the gap was six points (55 percent of men and 49 percent of women chose Republican House candidates). In the CBS/New York Times poll, the gap is seven points (49–42).

So the gap isn’t shrinking. It’s just that Republicans are doing alright this year among men and women alike. Shrinking the gender gap turns out to be unnecessary for political success.

Update from a reader:

I don’t get it: Lena Dunham can do a YouTube spot likening voting for the Dems to losing your virginity to the “right one”, but comparing President Obama to a bad boyfriend is something qualitatively different? The problem with this ad isn’t that it’s insulting or not clever, it’s lack of originality: