Republican Women Still Like Rick Santorum
Yet another poll shows Rick Santorum with a lead among Republican women; according the latest survey from ABC News and The Washington Post, 57 percent of Republican women have a favorable view of the former Pennsylvania senator, compared to the 61 percent who have a favorable view of Mitt Romney. What’s more, as The Post notes, Romney has higher negative ratings among GOP women than Santorum does—28 percent to 18 percent.
There is at least one reason to be suspicious of this result; the sample of Republican women in this poll—137 people, or 13 percent of all respondents—isn’t large, and the margin of error on the survey is ±9.5 percentage points. But even if we take the lower bound as the actual result, it still comes as a surprise to learn that, among Republicans at least, there isn’t much of a gender gap between the two candidates.
Indeed, the same is also true as far as their unpopularity is concerned. Santorum is viewed unfavorably by 40 percent of Democratic women and 36 percent of independent women, while Romney does somewhat worse with 55 percent unfavorability among Democratic women and 43 percent among independent women. Santorum’s lower numbers are almost certainly the product of lower name recognition, given the extent to which Santorum is more outspoken about his anti-birth control views—”I’m not a believer in birth control, artificial birth control,” said the former senator in a 2006 interview—they should go up, as opponents and media bring attention his way.
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