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South Carolina women loved Newt Gingrich. Women voters in Florida? Not so much. The results of the Florida Republican presidential primary show that while the ladies in the Palmetto State liked what Gingrich had to say as a candidate, the gals in the Sunshine State wanted another candidate to take to the general election.
I’m not the only one who’s likened the Republican presidential debate and campaign process to a very complicated version of The Dating Game. Almost every GOP candidate that’s tossed their hat in the ring has had a moment where the voters loved him or her, only to wonder what they’d done to blow their chances at going steady until the primary season, finding themselves metaphorically standing alone outside the apartment door because their date had “an early morning.”
Gingrich’s turn to bask in the spotlight was the South Carolina primary in January, especially when it came to women’s votes. Even though studies have shown that Newt isn’t as popular with the ladies as his personal history might suggest, there must have been something about the twinkle in Gringrich’s eye when he called Barack Obama “the food stamp president,” because he won the support of Georgia’s women voters 36 percent to Mitt Romney’s 30 percent.
But while South Carolina voters might have thought Gingrich was the type they’d want to go on a second date with (to the general election), women voters in Florida weren’t convinced.
According to exit polling, Romney was the hot political suitor of Florida’s women voters with 52 percent of their support, while Gingrich had to settle for being the “I like you, but not like that” candidate with only 28 percent of women’s backing. Why? One report says that the exit polling suggested that women voters had a “personal distaste” for the twice-cheating, thrice married, alleged open marriage conservative. Gingrich and has campaign staff must have seen that coming, as they brought out Gingrich’s daughters to go on the offensive for their father with the spectrum of cable news shows even before the Florida polls had closed.
On to better luck in Nevada? If the 2008 primary results are any indication, Romney and Ron Paul may have the upper hand there. So if it’s winning that Newt is after in the next contest, he might want to stick with the nickel slots.
You can read more from iVillage contributor Joanne Bamberger at her blog, PunditMom. Joanne is also the author of Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America, on sale now at Amazon.com.