BALTIMORE (CBS BALTIMORE) — A wide gap in issues important to men and women in this year’s election has put the topic of abortion in the headlines once again.
Women are far more likely than men to rate several issues as very important to their vote in the presidential election this year, including abortion and health care, according to a Pew Research Center study.
Among registered voters, more than half of women (54 percent) say the issue of abortion will be very important in their voting decision, compared with 36 percent of men — a difference of 18 percentage points. Among all registered voters, 46 percent say the issue of abortion will be very important to their vote.
The second presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama pushed a lot of social issues – such as abortion and women’s equality in the workplace – to the forefront of the debate.
Nearly 81 percent of women voters say health care will be very important, while fewer men (67 percent) view that issue as very important. Women also are more likely than men to view education (by 10 points) and jobs (eight points) as very important. There are no issues where men rate it as significantly more important than women.
Women also are more likely than men to view education (by 10 points) and jobs (eight points) as very important. There are no issues that significantly more men than women rate as very important.
The study was conducted from 3,019 people, nearly 2,500 of them were registered voters from across the country.
Roughly one-in-five voters (22 percent) are considered swing voters, either because they are undecided or haven’t fully committed to Obama or Romney. For the most part their priorities are in line with those of all registered voters: Fully 85 percent of swing voters view the economy as a very important voting issue, followed by education and jobs (74 percent).
By sex, women had a higher voting rate (66 percent) than males (62 percent). Neither was statistically different from 2004.