After years of campaigning, billions of dollars spent, and millions of miles traveled, the 2012 campaign is over. And if there's one thing that we should take from the results it's this: DON'T MESS WITH THE LADIES!
The women's vote was crucial to both parties - and as we look at the numbers, we can see why. Female voters made up 54% of the electorate and favored the president by 11 percent, resulting in an 18-point gender gap - 6 points wider than in 2008. 55% of women voted for the President, and in key states, this made a huge difference (Ohio: 12-point gender gap, Pennsylvania: 16-points).
Why this huge swing towards the blue team? Many have pointed to the hateful messages coming from Republican candidates and the War on Women (see Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock and Tom Smith who each lost their elections after making controversial comments about rape victims). The efforts to limit reproductive freedom and access to services was a stark contrast to the President, who fought to make contraceptives more affordable and increase access to services for poor and rural women.
According to CNN, "Romney, in particular, alienated many female voters by dodging questions about equal pay legislation, pledging to defund Planned Parenthood and overturn Roe v. Wade, and backing legislation that would allow employers to deny women birth control coverage."
“This election sends a powerful and unmistakable message to members of Congress and state legislatures all around the country that the American people do not want politicians to meddle in our personal medical decisions," said Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood.
Women were also elected to a record number of seats. Beginning in the new year, New Hampshire will be represented by the nations' first all-women delegation (A female governor, both senators and all congresswomen). And the 113th Congress will include 20 female senators - a record number! And right here at home we're seeing the change - South Carolina will cease being the only single-gendered body in the nation when Katrina Shealy takes her seat in the SC Senate.
Ladies - our voices are being heard and when we take action, the country listens!