Regardless of your political affiliation, the prominent role women played in the election yesterday was an undeniable step forward.
CNN exit polls show that 55 percent of women voted for Obama and 44 percent for Romney compared to men favoring Romney 52 percent to 45 percent. With women making up 54 percent of the electorate, the gender gap added up to 18 percent (6 points higher than the 2008 election).
The influence of women was strong enough to negate Romney’s popularity among men and independents, especially in swing states such as Ohio and New Hampshire. In Pennsylvania the gap was as high as 16 points, a large enough number to give Obama the valuable electoral votes.
Speculation as to why women ultimately aligned with Barack Obama addresses issues such as Mitt Romney’s controversial promise to defund Planned Parenthood, his avoidance of equal pay legislation questions, and recent Republican rape gaffes.
Women’s health and equal pay are just two of the many issues coming to the forefront of American politics today. More than ever, women are using their vote to ensure their well-being and equality is treated as a priority. With women’s involvement in the electorate unlikely to change, politicians will have to start listening.