Las mujeres y la campaña presidencial norteamericana

OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON – Barack Obama y John McCain son los dos contendientes en las elecciones presidenciales de Estados Unidos este año, pero la campaña también estuvo dominada por dos mujeres muy diferentes, Hillary Clinton y Sarah Palin. De hecho, muchos observadores creen que las mujeres determinarán el resultado electoral. De modo que, para parafrasear a Sigmund Freud, “¿Qué quieren las mujeres norteamericanas?”

Hasta los años 1960, las mujeres norteamericanas eran más proclives que los hombres a respaldar a los republicanos. En la elección de 1980, surgió una brecha de género diferente: había más probabilidades de que las mujeres y no los hombres apoyaran a los demócratas. En 1996, el respaldo de las mujeres a Bill Clinton fue 14 puntos porcentuales mayor que el de los hombres y, en 2000, las mujeres respaldaron a Al Gore por sobre George W. Bush por una diferencia de 12 puntos.

Pero, desde 1996, la brecha política de género se ha reducido a la mitad. Las mujeres que respaldan a los republicanos, según el saber popular, son las “mamás de la seguridad” –esposas y madres de los suburbios que empezaron a preocuparse por la seguridad de sus familias después de los atentados terroristas del 11 de septiembre de 2001-. La elección que hizo McCain de Palin fue un intento por apelar a estas madres y atraer votos de las mujeres desilusionadas con el fracaso de Clinton.

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