John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Did You Know That White Women Voted for Mitt Romney By a 14 Point Spread?

Posted on September 15, 2015
Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

"Mitt Romney by Gage Skidmore 7" by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

I was surprised to hear it. No, shocked would be a better word.

Peter Fenn, the Democratic strategist, friend and sometimes television/video foil for me, made the assertion that Mitt Romney had won white women in the last election.

That wasn’t accurate, I told him. Romney won white married women, but he couldn’t have won white women.

But I was wrong and Peter was right. According to exit polls, white women voted for Romney by 14 points in the last election.

14 points? And he still lost.

I still can’t believe it.

Donald Trump is doing well with female voters, despite his comments about Carly Fiorina’s face. At the same time, Hillary Clinton is losing ground with white Democratic women. They are abandoning her by wide margins. That’s the principle reason her poll numbers are sagging.

It has long been the case that there has been a huge gender gap when it comes to white men in politics. They’ve largely given up on the Democratic Party.

But white unmarried women have stuck with the Democrats because of issues like abortion and gender equity. White married women have been the swing vote, sometimes going for security, like they did with George W. Bush, sometimes turning on other issues, like they did for President Obama in 2008.

But over the last seven years, the parties have reshuffled on racial lines.

White men and women are now flocking to the GOP, while Asians, Hispanics and African-Americans make up the bulk of the Democratic Party.

Black women are now the heart and soul of the Democrats. They vote for them 96 to 4.

The debate over immigration only exacerbates this phenomenon, as many in the media have pointed out.

The more folks like Donald Trump talk about building a wall and kicking out all illegal immigrants, the more that Asians and Hispanics flock to the Democratic Party.

The problem for the Republicans is that in the long term, this is a losing strategy. It’s also a losing strategy in the short term, if history is any judge.

I find it hard to believe that the next GOP nominee will do much better than 14 points among white women. Maybe he (or she) will.

But having two political parties separated primarily by color makes me uneasy. We shouldn’t have one white team and one brown/black/Asian team.

It’s not good for the country. And it’s not good for the GOP.