Why did Republicans including Mitt Romney act so quickly to distance themselves from Missouri Congressman Todd Akin and his comments about rape?
One contributing factor could be a significant gender gap in the national presidential election that we’ve also seen reflected in our Washington state polling.
In our July SurveyUSA statewide poll, President Obama led Romney in Washington state by 9 points (46% to 37%). But among women, the Democrats’ lead was 52% to 33%—a 19-point spread. In contrast, it’s a dead heat in the race for President among men in Washington state (39% Obama, 41% Romney, within the poll’s 4% margin of error).
That gender gap carries over somewhat to the race for Governor, with Republican Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee tied among male voters in our August statewide poll, but Inslee with a 7-point advantage (50% to 43%) among women.
Republican Senate candidate Michael Baumgartner issued a statement calling Akin’s remarks “ignorant” but McKenna did not immediately issue a statement regarding the Missouri Senate candidate.