A Message from the AAUW President
I hope everyone has gotten a good night’s sleep (or two) and recovered from the craziness of Election Day. Although the election has passed, some states and analysts are still sorting out what happened. For instance, did you know that as of Wednesday morning, Arizona still had over 300,000 uncounted ballots and that the race for the seat that used to belong to retired Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) has yet to be called? Or that every day brings new analyses of the voting patterns of different groups and possible reasons why they might have voted that way?
Because there is still much to talk about, we’re going to continue the It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign updates through the presidential inauguration in January, although they’ll be published monthly instead of weekly. After this update, we’ll publish again on Thursday, December 13, and Thursday, January 10, 2013, and then conclude the series.
In the remaining updates, we’ll look at electoral developments, data about women and voting, and the ways in which AAUW members are engaging with new members of Congress. Please send information about your branch’s outreach to new representatives or senators to VoterEd@aauw.org, as we’d love to feature it in the updates.
See you in December!
Yours in AAUW,
PUBLICATION NOTE: Starting with today’s issue, the It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard Campaign Update will be published once a month through the presidential inauguration in January.
- AAUW Staff Helped Get Out the Vote
- More Congressional Races Called, While Votes Are Still Being Counted in Others
- Florida Announces Electoral College Votes Four Days Later
- Single Women Emerge as Powerful Voting Bloc
- Latinos Voted in Record Numbers
- Listen to AAUW’s Post-Election Analysis Call
- AAUW Policy Director Quoted Widely on Women in the Election
- Advocates Worry Importance of Women’s Issues Could Decrease in 2014 Election
- AAUW Compiles #DayOne To-Do List for President, Congress
- Coming Soon: Evaluation Form for It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard Campaign
- Stay Connected with AAUW through Social Media!
AAUW Staff Helped Get Out the Vote
On Election Day, the AAUW staff joined AAUW members across the country in encouraging millennial women to get out and vote. Staff members made calls throughout the day to remind young women to vote and volunteered to table outside the building, talking to pedestrians about voting and handing out It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign materials. You can view pictures from the AAUW staff’s Election Day activities in our photo album.
More Congressional Races Called, While Votes Are Still Being Counted in Others
Last Tuesday, a record number of women were elected to Congress: 20 in the Senate and 78 representatives and three delegates in the House. Since then, several races have been called, while others remain undecided. Recently elected House members include Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), and Julia Brownley (D-CA). With her victory, Sinema became the first openly bisexual individual elected to Congress. At the time of this writing, the outcomes of the following races were still unclear:
- Florida: Rep. Allen West (R) and Patrick Murphy (D)
- Arizona: Martha McSally (R) and Ron Barber (D)
- California: Ami Bera (D) and Dan Lungren (R)
- California: Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) and Scott Peters (D)
- North Carolina: Mike McIntyre (D) and David Rouzer (R)
Florida Announces Electoral College Votes Four Days Later
Four days after the election, Florida’s 29 Electoral College votes went to President Obama, bringing his total to 332 electoral votes (270 votes were needed to win). In Florida, long lines on Election Day frustrated many voters, and some groups are calling for a task force to review the election and propose reforms. A spokesman for Secretary of State Kenneth Detzner said his staff will follow its standard evaluation of the election and look for ways to make improvements.
Single Women Emerge as Powerful Voting Bloc
In addition to the gender gap, there was also a marriage gap in the 2012 election: 67 percent of single women voted for President Barack Obama, a 36-point advantage over Mitt Romney. While Romney received more votes from married women, the gap between him and Obama among married women was only seven points. This powerful voting bloc of unmarried women tends to be diverse in age and race. Reproductive health and birth control were especially important to this voting bloc, AAUW Director of Public Policy and Government Relations Lisa Maatz explained to NBC News.
Latinos Voted in Record Numbers
Analysis of exit polls reveals that Latinos voted in record numbers this year and likely had a strong influence on the results in some swing states. Latinos constituted 10 percent of total voters, compared to 8 percent in the 2004 election. Exit polls show that President Barack Obama won 71 percent of the Latino vote to Mitt Romney’s 27 percent. A report released by the Pew Hispanic Center on Wednesday estimates that the number of eligible Hispanic voters will double over the next two decades, meaning this year’s record turnout may signal a growing trend and increasing power of the Latino vote. Analysts are already observing that last week’s election results are leading elected officials from both parties to talk about the possibility of comprehensive immigration reform in the 113th Congress.
Listen to AAUW’s Post-Election Analysis Call
Did you miss AAUW’s post-election analysis call earlier this week? You have another chance to listen to the recording here. The call features AAUW Director of Public Policy and Government Relations Lisa Maatz’s expert analysis of the election results and what they mean for AAUW priority issues, as well as an overview of how women voted and their impact on the results. As a reminder, the call is not for press or attribution. It can, however, be referenced in internal AAUW communications such as branch and state newsletters.
AAUW Policy Director Quoted Widely on Women in the Election
Media outlets called upon AAUW Director of Public Policy and Government Relations Lisa Maatz for her expertise following the election. Maatz was quoted in a Guardian story about the gender gap between voters’ preferences for President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and the election of an all-female congressional delegation and female governor in New Hampshire. For NBC News, Maatz weighed in on one story about the emergence of single women as a voting bloc and another story about the future of health care reform. She appeared in Forbes twice – once in a story about whether voters elected the first female president by sending a record number of women to Congress and again in an article about the record number of women headed to the Senate. Maatz also wrote a post-election analysis for RH Reality Check. Maatz continued to be in the news this week with her quotes in a Politico story on AAUW’s attendance at a meeting between President Obama and women’s group leaders.
Advocates Worry Importance of Women’s Issues Could Decrease in 2014 Election
Even though the 2012 election just ended, many women’s groups are already looking ahead to 2014 and are concerned that women candidates and women’s issues may not be as prominent in 2014. Women made up more than half of all voters this year, and more women than ever were elected to Congress. Analysts say the issues that galvanized many voters—women in particular—included health care and reproductive choices, but it is unclear whether those issues will be salient in 2014, given that Republicans now seem to be less focused on repealing the Affordable Care Act and its requirement for insurers to provide coverage of contraception without cost sharing.
AAUW Compiles #DayOne To-Do List for President, Congress
AAUW hosted a Twitter campaign last week to gather recommendations for President Obama and Congress on their first days of the new term. Dozens of Twitter users answered, and their priorities made for an ambitious to-do list that we tweeted at Congress and the president. Some of the topics included were pay equity, high-wage jobs, access to Plan B emergency contraception, filibuster reform, repealing the Hyde amendment, immigration reform, reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, unemployment benefits, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. AAUW will also send the re-elected Obama administration a list of AAUW priorities, including outlawing federal contractors from retaliating against employees who ask about compensation, requiring federal agencies to conduct Title IX compliance reviews at all institutions receiving federal funds, and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
Coming Soon: Evaluation Form for It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard Campaign
If your state or branch participated in the It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign, we want your feedback! Please start thinking about the successes, challenges, and lessons learned, and we will be in touch shortly with an online evaluation form.
Stay Connected with AAUW through Social Media!
The campaign may be over, but don’t stop following AAUW on social media sites! We will keep you up to date on important issues affecting women, and you can share the information easily with your friends. “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @AAUW, @AAUWActionFund, @AAUWPolicy, say tuned to our YouTube channel, and keep up with our AAUW Dialog blog. You can also relive the highlights of the It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign with this photo album showing AAUW members from across the country in action.