In the end, the women’s vote did not decisively hand Obama a win last night, as Nate Silver and the Obama campaign had been hinting in the days before the election. After all the wooing and pleading, the emails in the style of a pining ex-lover, the specially tailored “Julia” slideshows that served as the campaign equivalent of a mix tape, women gave Obama almost exactly what they gave him four years ago and—according to many exit polls—even a little less. CNN had women at 55 percent for Obama and 44 percent for Romney, a smaller gap than Obama had posted against John McCain.
Instead women served as part of Obama’s big happy rainbow party. They joined up with an impressive coalition of Latinos, African-Americans, and young people to put Obama over the top. In different counties in battleground states, one or another member of this demographic alliance turned out to be critical—young people and Latinos in Nevada, for example, or women in northern Virginia. In that state, the Obama won by only about 100,000 votes, and the Democrats lost support among white men, so you could safely say women gave that state to the president.