According to two CNN polls, Texas Governor Rick Perry has gone from having a significant deficit with women Republican voters to a double-digit lead with them. First, about the July poll (Perry was not yet an official candidate seeking the Republican nomination for the presidential race):
Perry leads among male voters with 20%, but he’s tied for fifth place with Ron Paul when it comes to female voters — 0nly 8% support him. The only other candidate with a gender gap of nearly that size is Sarah Palin, who picks up 17% of females and only 9% of males. But that’s somewhat to be expected for a female candidate and it’s still better than Perry’s margin.
Surprisingly, Michele Bachmann is supported by 13% of men and only 9% of women.
You can read the poll here.
But five weeks later? Perry has surged massively with female Republican voters. He gets 23%, Palin gets 13% and Bachmann gets just 10%. When CNN asks the question without Palin in the mix, Bachmann gains just 4% in the women, but Perry gains 7% (taking his advantage from 13% ahead of Bachmann to 16% ahead of her with women voters). See for yourself here which is where I got the chart below:
At my original post, I wonder about the protestations of tea party supporters who have said women power the movement. I also want to see this Perry strength reviewed by proponents of the idea that women must “hold their nose” and vote for the woman in the race no matter what (since that is the only way, according to that line of thinking – which is avowedly not my way of thinking – that women will ever reach parity with men in elected office).
What do you think is going on, for whom does it matter and how? For some history on the gender gap, check out these resources.
UPDATE: A new Quinnipiac poll is showing a similar gender gap.