Blumenthal, Democrats counting on gender gap

NEW HAVEN — On a day of get-out-the-vote rallies, U.S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro met with female activists Sunday to tell them they are key to Democratic chances on Nov. 2.

Polling is showing a huge gender gap as women are strongly favoring Democrats, even in the Senate contest, where Blumenthal’s opponent, Linda McMahon, is trying to become the state’s first woman in the Senate.

“You’re the ones who are going to get the job done,” Blumenthal said. “You’re going to be the margin of victory — your voices, your calls, your talking to neighbors. You are going to be the margin of victory.”

Among women, he leads McMahon by a 2-to-1 margin.


Richard Blumenthal greeting women activists.

“I think women are beginning to realize what’s at stake for them in this election,” said DeLauro, who represents the 3rd District. “I think at the core of that is economic security, and that includes jobs, health care wages.”

Blumenthal and DeLauro met with women at a church basement on the Yale campus, one of many stops with the same basic message: Get out the vote in 9 days.

“At the end of the day, after all of the speeches, there is nothing more important on election day than soldiers on the ground, getting out that vote,” DeLauro said.

George Jepsen, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, told a rally in Waterbury earlier Sunday that this is “a turnout election,” unlike in 2006 and 2008 when Democrats needed little prodding to registered their objections to the war in Iraq or President Bush.

DeLauro said women, especially single women of all ages, are particularly open to the Democratic agenda of pay equity and health-care reforms, which included consumer protections and anti-discrimination measures.

“This is a moment of decision about what kind of country we want to be,” DeLauro said. “There is so much at stake in this election. There really is, particularly for women.”

Her husband, the pollster Stanley Greenberg, discovered that in 2008 that unmarried women were among the Democrats’ strongest supporters.

“They are more progressive by nature, but they are also the least economically secure people in the country,” DeLauro said. “What are they looking for? You talk to them about paid sick days. You talk to them about paycheck fairness. You talk about education and training and health.”

Blumenthal pledged to support an expansion of the Violence Against Women Act and to continue his work against domestic violence. He said he helped found a group called Men Make a Difference, which is affiliated with Interval House, a women’s shelter.

He said it is intended to break the cycle of violence.

“Boy who see violence in their homes repeat it when they grow old,” he said.

“How about on television, WWE?” shouted a woman, referring to McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment.

Blumenthal smiled.