Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why Women Are Not Inspired to Vote Right Now

Find out what is bothering women voters about this midterm election season.

From Denny: Why is it in poll after poll do the pollsters find themselves puzzled as to why women are just not enthusiastic this year for the midterm voting - especially Democrats and Independents?

Like any situation there are varied reasons for the female voting malaise:

* Women view political race after political race still offering no practical solutions for the issues of the country.

* Women struggle working more hours in a down economy, hoping to afford rising health care, raising families, and are caretakers of aging parents.

2010 The New Year of The Woman Candidates

This political year is touted as The Year of The Woman. To date 36 women filed to run for the U.S. Senate - a record in our nation's history. Of those 36 womnen, 14 won their primaries, yet another record.

Running for the House there are 262 women who filed to run for those congressional seats, up by 40 more than in 1992 when that year was touted as The Year of the Woman. The Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University reports that 10 women in eight states were picked as their party's nominee for governor. No matter who wins in the states of Oklahoma or New Mexico it will be a female governor taking office since both parties nominated women to run for the open seats.

What does the recent polling reveal about how women feel this election season?

You would think women across the nation would be excited there were so many female candidates, right? Apparently not, according to recent polling.

What the pollsters for CNN/Opinion Research Corp. found:

* 23 percent of women polled described themselves as "extremely enthusiastic" about voting in the upcoming elections - compared with 38 percent of men.

Other national polls from The New York Times and CBS News also reflect this lack of enthusiasm among female voters.

What else did the pollsters discover?

* The economy - unemployment rates continue to be high. Worse, those government benefits appear to be periolously close to the edge of the cliff of getting axed by Congress, especially if Republicans gain control of Congress.

* Women are finding themselves overburdened - two-thirds of all American families rely upon the woman's earnings just to survive. No longer is a woman's income used for savings, the kids' college funds and family vacations. Men's salaries and hours have been so cut back that now the family is totally dependent upon the woman's income to make ends meet.

* Many women are finding themselves now out of work. Did you know the unemployment rate for single mothers has more than doubled since 2007? It's now at its highest in 25 years.

* Women are growing ever more despondent about the national economic situation - which is killing their interest in the ballot box at a time when it is more important than ever for them to turn out in high numbers to vote.

* The biggest turn-off is the current toxic American politics with its "take-no-prisoners, race-to-the-bottom mentality" the Republicans foster - and Democrats have joined just to stay politically viable.

Men and women alike are fed up with the excessive adversarial, sometimes violent rhetoric, in current political contests. Women continue to register their dissatisfaction with their parties about character assassination wars in every political season. As usual, we voters are ignored, stepped on and the political parties do as they wish, expecting voters to come out in droves.

Voters keep wanting policies to be talked about in order to turn around the nation from our dismal state. Yet voters  are increasingly frustrated with the media - and the campaigns.  The media and the campaigns continue to try and focus voters upon tales of witchcraft, marital infidelities and other stupid minutiae that won't change our lives for the better, moving the country forward.

* Politically, the most glaring political narratives missing for women: good jobs, clean air, health care, rebuilding our national economy.

* Women are facing long-term employment as 13.9 percent of women are now living in poverty, the highest rate in 15 years.

What do women want? That's an age old question for men in general. :) Here's what women want that pertains to politics:

* Women are far more impressed with solutions, not garbage mouth politics.

* Women want leaders who take them seriously and value their thoughts and opinions about the challenges families face today to put food on the table.

* Women want leaders to provide good plans for affordable child care and health care that is available to everyone.

The National Women's Law Center notes that soon the new Congress will take the quality of our lives into their hands to make serious landmark decisions:

* whether to extend unemployment insurance benefits

* whether to repeal new provisions making it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions

* and whether to invest in families struggling to make ends meet.

Now is the time when women must register their voices. We must not take it for granted we own the right to vote - so many other women in the world are denied voting rights like in the Arab world. We must excerise our vote to influence the future decisions of this country - no matter how dissatisfied we are with the current state of political affairs.

We have the power to change things with our vote if only we will vote in the high numbers of millions strong. The current chaotic economy is far too tough for women to sit on the sidelines. Vote on Tuesday, November 2nd. It will be worth your time. Thank you.

*** Photo by Victor Bezrukov @ flickr

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