Reporting from McLean, Va. —
Aja Sutter is the kind of voter the Democrats could not afford to lose this year. The 26-year-old physical therapist, part of a cohort of unmarried women that has long been one of the most reliable Democratic bases, enthusiastically voted for Barack Obama in 2008.
But in last week’s midterm election, Sutter cast her ballot for Republicans, frustrated by the administration’s lack of progress in righting the economy
“A lot of the things that were promised, in my opinion, didn’t happen, and I wasn’t satisfied,” said Sutter, who noted that many of her female friends, feeling let down and ignored by politicians, did not even bother to vote.
That disappointment and apathy translated into a jolting drop in female support this year for House Democrats, who won just 48% of the women’s vote, down from 55% four years ago, according to exit polls. Republicans edged them out with 49% of the overall female vote, the best showing for the GOP — other than in 2002 — since the gender gap emerged in the 1980s, when women began to vote more Democratic than men.