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November 8th, 2012
07:00 PM ET

How women ruled the 2012 election

By Halimah Abdullah, CNN

Washington (CNN) - In many ways, the 2012 election was the year of the woman.

Women — who have historically formed one of President Barack Obama's key constituencies — once again united behind him in large numbers and helped fend off defections from white male and independent supporters.

A record 20 women will hold U.S. Senate seats next year—including newly-elected Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, the first openly lesbian senator. The New Hampshire congressional delegation will be all female and, in Obama's home state of Hawaii, Democrat Mazie Hirono will represent the islands in the Senate.

"I'm not sure if it was as much a coincidence as a perfect storm," said Jennifer Duffy, a senior editor with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

"The conditions were right and the Republican nominee gave women pause."

According to CNN's exit polls, 55% of women and 45% of men voted for Obama and 44% of women and 52% of men voted for Romney. That level of female support for the president made an especially big impact in swing states like Ohio where the gender breakdown mirrored the national figures.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • History • How we live • Politics • Women
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. riwikiwi

    I am assuming that majority of the women who voted for Obama was because of Obama`s social policies and his stance on allowing abortion. However majority of women who voted for Romney are probably working women who agreed with Romney's economic plans.

    November 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |