…or rather women have a problem with Newt Gingrich, and I don’t mean his two ex-wives, Jackie and Marianne.
Newt enjoyed a surge of popularity immediately after he chastised the newsman at a GOP debate for asking him about Wife No. 2 Marianne’s claim that Newt had wanted an open marriage so that he could continue his 6-year adulterous affair with self-professed lifelong Catholic, Callista Bisek (who later became Wife No. 3).
But that surge was short lived. Either that, or the surge of popularity is confined only to men.
The AP reports, Jan. 30, 2012, that although there was relatively little gender difference in Republican voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, exit polling data of yesterday’s GOP primary election in Florida show that women — Republican, not Democratic, women — abandoned Gingrich in droves, which helped fuel Mitt Romney’s win.
While Florida men narrowly preferred Romney, the message from women is striking:
Women voted for Romney (over Gingrich) 52% to 28% — and this held true across every category of education and income.
The exit poll data suggest that many women’s votes were influenced more by a personal distaste for Gingrich than by liking Romney. Asked their views of Gingrich as a person, men said they generally viewed him favorably by 62% to 34%, but women were about evenly divided. Among all voters on Tuesday, 55% expressed favorable views of Newt personally, compared to 77% who said the same about Mitt.
Don’t say I hadn’t warned you about Newt’s high unfavorability ratings! See my post, “Newt wins South Carolina but is widely disliked.”
Exit polls also found that:
- Hispanics, who comprised about 1 in 7 GOP primary voters yesterday, preferred Mitt, 54% to 29%.
- Older voters (65 or older) preferred Mitt, 51% to 34%.
- Those most worried about the economy, around 6 in 10 Florida GOP voters, preferred Mitt 52% to 30%.
- Those concerned about electability — the nearly half of Florida voters yesterday who said they most wanted a candidate who can beat Obama this November — preferred Mitt 58% to 33%.
- Mitt enjoyed a slight advantage among higher-income voters, although he won among every income category overall.
- Newt had a small 4-3 margin over Mitt only among voters who identify themselves as very conservative and strong supporters of the Tea Party. Mitt had a decisive edge among everyone else.