While the ‘gender gap’ has existed for decades, with Democrats consistently performing much better among women than with men, an even wider chasm has developed between the genders among those who have children under 18 living in their households – Moms vs. Dads.
According to the exit polls conducted by Edison Research from the 2010 elections, Moms voted for the Democrats in the House elections 52-44, while Dads supported the Republicans by a whopping 57-40. That’s a full 25 points on the difference (-17 to +8), up from 12 points in the 2008 exit polls (Moms 56D-41R, Dads 50D-47R) and from 10 points in the 2006 exit polls (Moms 53D-45R. Dads 50R-48D).
Chris Matthews, the host of the MSNBC political talk show “Hardball”, long ago came up with the meme of the Democratic Party as the “Mommy Party” and the Republicans as the “Daddy Party.” As he tells it, Democrats want to hug you and kiss you and tell you everything will be all right. Republicans want to spank you and send you to bed without your supper to toughen you up. In 2004, or so it is argued, Bush squeaked out his victory in part because enough Americans were looking for someone tough enough to deal with the monsters who caused the 9/11 attacks, and they simply didn’t see Kerry as the person to deliver that. Edison’s exit polls seem to imply that Moms are looking for Moms, and Dads for Dads, in an ever increasing fashion.