Obama’s Gender Gap: Financial, Too

Photograph by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Supporters wait for President Barack Obama's arrival at a campaign stop at City Park in Denver, Colorado, on Oct. 24, 2012.

President Barack Obama benefits from a gender gap with women voters as well as with women who make campaign contributions.

About 44 percent of the donations to Obama’s main campaign fund, Obama for America, came from women, compared with 34 percent of contributions to challenger Mitt Romney’s Romney for President Inc., according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of campaign finance data through August.

Female financial backing of Obama breaks with historical patterns in which men typically supply about two-thirds of political donations.

Obama beat Arizona Sen. John McCain of Arizona by 13 points among women in 2008, and Obama has had a significant lead among them in his contest with Romney.

In addition to being an indicator of approval of his policies, women’s monetary support for Obama reflects a developing trend of increased political giving among females, according to Jamie Pimlott, a political scientist at Niagara University who has studied gender patterns in campaign donations.

The trend currently is most noticeable among Democratic candidates because women’s advocacy groups that favor Democrats, like EMILY’s List, are well-established. But Pimlott says she expects women soon to play bigger roles in financing campaigns in both major parties.


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