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Does Santorum Have a Woman Problem?

3:02 PM, Mar 8, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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At the Washington Examiner, Tim Carney says the conventional view of Rick Santorum--that he has a problem with women voters--contradicts the facts. Carney says the claim is "rooted in bad math," citing a New York Times blogger who notes that Santorum trailed Romney among women in Arizona by 17 points:

Santorum does poorly among women in states where he does poorly among all voters. In Arizona, "Romney carried female voters by 17 percentage points," according to Rosenthal's exit polls, but guess what -- Romney carried all voters by 20 percentage points. 

In other words, Santorum did better among women -- by far -- than among men, and this blogger concludes that Santorum has a woman problem. The truth is the opposite.

This is confirmed by a recent survey commissioned by THE WEEKLY STANDARD, which discovered that Santorum would not perform any worse among women voters in a general election than Romney would:

The focus on social issues (but not necessarily the substance of his positions) would apparently hurt Santorum against Obama, but the breakdown doesn’t cut across gender lines. Santorum doesn’t perform any worse with women than he does with men—37 percent of men support him and 38 percent of women. Both Romney and the “generic Republican” of the control group have the same one-point margin of difference between the genders.

According to the survey, Santorum's bigger problem against Romney is how he performs with voters with college degrees. Such voters prefer Obama to Santorum by 24 points, while Romney actually performs better against Obama by 16 points.

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