Your Vote Really Matters
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Your Vote Really Matters

Since 1980 women have outnumbered men in the voting booth -- here's why it's more important than ever that you vote.

You know this already, but having the right to vote is a huge privilege. What you may not realize is that as a woman, your vote is incredibly powerful, because female voters will decide whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney wins the 2012 Presidential election. Since 1980 women have outnumbered men in the voting booth -- in fact in 2008, 10 million more American women voted than men. And, all signs point to a continuation of this trend in 2012. To look at why and how women vote and their attitudes toward what's going on in Washington today, Ladies' Home Journal commissioned a national poll of 1,003 women conducted by Michael J. Berland, president of the polling and research firm Penn Schoen Berland. The upshot? Women are watching the campaigns closely and continue to weigh what both candidates say and do at every step of the way. Much can change before Election Day. But whichever way the results go, it is almost certain that women will be the decisive swing vote in choosing the next President.

Top 3 Reasons Women Vote

65% - It's my civic duty

58% - I want to have a say

54% - I think my vote will make a difference

Which of these types of elections do you vote in regularly?

92% - Presidential elections

65% - elections for governor

58% - elections for U.S. Senate

54% - elections for U.S. House of Representatives

54% - Local/municipal elections

Are you going to vote in the 2012 Presidential elections?

82% - Definitely

14% - Probably will

3% - Probably not

1% - Maybe

1% - Definitely not

Which of the following have you done in the last decade?

57% - Signed a petition

33% - Contacted my senator or representative

23% - Attended a public meeting on town or school issues

18% - Donated money to a political campaign

15% - Attended a rally

11% - Written a letter to the editor of a newspaper

7% - Volunteered for a political campaign

30% - None of these

How often do you talk about politics with your family?

46% - Sometimes

25% - Rarely

23% - Very often

6% - Never

Why not more often?

43% - I don't like getting into heated arguments

30% - No reason/other

12% - I think it's a private matter

8% - I don't care that much

7% - I'm not informed enough

Are you going to watch the Presidential debates on TV?

42% - Probably

32% - Definitely

19% - Probably not

7% - Definitely not

Who Would You Look to for Advice:

53% - of women would rather turn to Romney for financial advice.

59% - would rather go to Obama for personal advice.

Which of the following issues is most important to you in voting for President this year?

76% - the economy

4% - national security

15% - values

5% - don't know

How confident are you in each Presidential candidate's ability, if elected, to set policies that would make women's lives better over the next four years?

Very confident:

26% - Obama

14% - Romney

Somewhat confident:

32% - Obama

26% - Romney

Not very confident:

20% - Obama

28% - Romney

Not at all confident:

22% - Obama

32% - Romney

Do you believe men or women make better political leaders?

20% - men

27% - women

53% - gender doesn't make a difference

Are you more or less likely to vote for a political candidate because she's a woman?

71% - Neither

23% - Much/somewhat more likely

6% - Much/somewhat less likely

Do you think male or female politicians are more likely to possess the following traits?

Competitive:

71% - Men

29% - Women

Ambitious:

61% - Men

39% - Women

Decisive:

60% - Men

40% - Women

Negotiator:

54% - Men

46% - Women

Determined:

42% - Men

58% - Women

Hardworking:

37% - Men

63% - Women

Honest:

21% - Men

79% - Women

Creative:

12% - Men

88% - Women

Empathetic:

12% - Men

88% - Women

Emotional:

8% - Men

92% - Women

67% of respondents believe that men aren't qualified to set policy with regard to women's health issues, but... 92% of women aren't interested in running for political office. How likely do you think it is that there will be a female President in your lifetime?

50% - Somewhat Likely

5% - Very Unlikely

30% - Very likely

15% - Somewhat unlikely

Do you agree or disagree that there is a "War on Women" in the United States?

17% - Strongly agree

37% - Somewhat agree

31% - Somewhat disagree

15% - Strongly disagree

Which female celebrity do you think would make the best political candidate?

44% - Oprah Winfrey

28% - Sandra Bullock

18% - Ellen DeGeneres

18% - Ellen DeGeneres

1% - Beyoncé

Do you believe men or women in public office are more effective on the following issues?

National security and defense:

80% - Men

20% - Women

Education:

80% - Women

20% - Men

Crime and public safety:

80% - Men

20% - Women

Making tough decisions:

60% - Men

40% - Women

Managing the economy:

50% - Men

50% - Women

Keeping government ethical:

75% - Women

25% - Men

Health care for families:

80% - Women

20% - Men

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, October 2012.

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