Could Newt Gingrich, of all people, think he's got an opportunity with Republican women? Gingrich, the guy who's on his third wife? A guy who his second wife claims asked for an open marriage? Yeah, same guy.
Gingrich has faced a gender gap for some time -- men like him better than women -- but his campaign has created a "Women With Newt" group featuring testimonials from his daughters. It's not as crazy as it sounds, but the evidence is still mixed.
Rick Santorum, who replaced Gingrich as the biggest threat to Mitt Romney, is now facing what looks like a small gender gap. Santorum lost Tuesday night in "due in large part to his weakness among Michigan women," The Daily Beast's Patricia Murphy argues. "Although Santorum lost among Michigan men by just 1 point, he lost the women's vote by a full 6-point margin, leaving him well behind Romney and unable to close the gap with male voters in any way." But if you look at the exit polls, Santorum got 38 percent of both male and female voters. So it's probably more right to say that Romney lost a chunk of the male vote to Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, whose gender gap skewing toward men adds up to 6 points.
- Iowa: Santorum got 27 percent of women, 23 percent of men.
- New Hampshire: 11 percent of women, 8 percent of men.
- South Carolina: 20 percent of women, 14 percent of men.
- Florida: 13 percent for both men and women.
- Nevada: 12 percent of women, 9 percent of men.
- Arizona: 32 percent of women, 21 percent of men.
It's hard to say whether women like Santorum more when they get to know him. Nationally, Republican women like him better than they did a month ago, according to a poll released last week. But Michigan, where he was campaigning a lot the last two weeks, women started liking him less. In Arizona, which he mostly ignored, Santorum got a ton of female voters. But it's hard to argue that women like him if they don't know anything about him, because Santorum mostly skipped Florida, too, and there he polled the same among men and women.