Take the housing crisis. Recent encouraging news about an uptick in home prices was quickly overshadowed by a report revealing that a record number of homeowners are now delinquent on their mortgages. The Mortgage Banker’s Association explained that these mortgage problems are a symptom of continued high unemployment. When people aren’t working, they struggle to pay the bills, including their mortgages.
Political analysts sometimes downplay such realities when discussing the women’s vote, as if the economy and home prices were somehow men’s domain. Yet, in fact, this housing issue may even be more important to women who, according to the Association of Realtors, are more likely to own homes than men. Married couples account for about two-thirds of home buyers, but single women account for another twenty percent compared to just ten percent for single men. Indeed, the health of the housing market directly impacts the financial health of millions of women nationwide.
As women contemplate their upcoming vote in November, women want to know what they can expect in the next four years to revive an economy that is still fundamentally ailing. Politicians have talked about housing and job creation endlessly, but too much of this has just been talk. Smart women know that unemployment and housing prices are symptoms of larger economic problems. More government bailouts for borrowers or make-work jobs programs aren’t going to do the trick. The real problem is that job creators—and yes, that means businesses large and small, which women know aren’t economic villains, but vital to any recovery—are frozen and need certainty: certainty about their future tax contributions, their regulatoryburdens and that energy prices won’t skyrocket.
These are the issues that will ultimately guide most women’s choice of candidate. The media may fall for attempts to distract and refocus on hot button issues and horserace coverage of political gaffes. But female voters won’t. Women know there’s too much at stake in this election.