Election shows voting gender gap expanding

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WASHINGTON -- Sorry, fellas, but President Barack Obama's re-election makes it official: Women can overrule men at the ballot box.

For the first time in research dating to 1952, a presidential candidate whom men chose decisively -- Republican Mitt Romney -- lost. More women voted for the other guy.

It's surprising it didn't happen sooner because women have been voting in larger numbers than men for almost three decades, exit polls show.

But men, who make up less than half the population, always have exercised power greater than their numbers, and they aren't about to stop now.

When it comes to elections, males as a group are more influential because they show less party loyalty than women, who skew Democratic.

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Despite all the focus on candidates courting Hispanics or the working class, men are the nation's ultimate swing voters; they're the reason why Republican George W. Bush became president and Republican John McCain didn't.

Their move away from Obama this year expanded the voting "gender gap." It wasn't enough to determine the outcome, but it came close.

So presidential hopefuls staring into the gender gap in 2016 might want to look beyond the usual controversies over "women's issues" such as abortion or the polling fads such as "Wal-Mart moms." Maybe it's time to pause and consider the fickle male. Maybe it's time to ask, "What do men want?" In the voting booth, that is.

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