Palin and the gender gap

PPP has up a post about their latest survey showing that Sarah Palin does not seem at likely to benefit from sympathetic women voters:

A trend we have been noticing in our early Obama/GOP matchups at the national level is that Palin consistently performs worse with all female voters against Obama than both Mike Huckabee — the strongest with women nationally — and Mitt Romney, and not much better than Newt Gingrich. Because of this, Huckabee and Romney almost always do best overall against Obama…

On average, Palin does only 2 points better with men than women, and she averages 2nd place in both genders, but Romney and Huckabee tend to be strong with both men and women, and sometimes considerably stronger than Palin, so her weakness with her own gender is more glaring when it comes to tallying the final results.

Ironically, and luckily for her, men outnumber women in the GOP primary electorate.

No surprise to me.  In our 2009 APSA paper, using more sophisticate analyses (oooohhh, multiple linear regression) Laurel Elder and I found absolutely no special appeal for Sarah Palin among women in general or mothers.  Of course, women are consistently more liberal than men, so the fact that they are not particularly supportive of someone who is probably perceived as among the most conservative of Republicans is not surprising.

That said, I still like Palin’s chances in 2012.  As I like to say, an intense minority beats an apathetic majority ever time (though, admittedly, not in two-candidate elections), but I think the passion of her supporters will be a big advantage in Republican primaries despite her huge negatives with everybody else.

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