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The Impact Of The Women's Vote

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16917 ClintonWomenPhoto Credit: Twitter.com

Hillary Clinton. The last name brings with it a political and presidential legacy, and the first brings the possibility of game-changing history. If Hillary Clinton were to become the first female president of the United States, it would come thanks to her fellow sisters of the nation. 

The 2012 presidential election saw women make up an unprecedented 53 percent of all voters. Although Obama lost the overall male vote, 55 percent of women cast their ballot in his favor, giving him nearly a third of the total electorate, according to AmericanProgress.com.

16917 GenderGap 2012Photo Credit: AmericanProgress.org

Women are becoming an increasingly powerful force in American politics and a valuable asset for Democrats. Contenders for the presidential seat have all pushed to appeal to their party's female voters.

Bernie Sanders took what many voters see as a much stronger stance on women's rights from the start of his campaign. While Clinton fights for pay equality and women's reproductive rights, Sanders has raised the stakes by demanding companies to provide paid family leave and has argued in favor of expanding programs that provide assistance to women who need it. 

"At a time when over 65 percent of women work more than 40 hours a week, we must require employers to provide at least two weeks of paid vacation. And, we must require employers to provide at least one week of paid sick leave so that women can stay home to take care of a sick child, among other things." -Sen. Sanders

Pitted against Sanders' message, Clinton's stances on gender issues may read as a bit too moderate for some voters, many of whom are fed up with the status quo and could easily be drawn towards the outsider politician from Vermont. 

Clinton has since taken stronger stances on women's issues, calling out her Republican colleagues who support the deportation of mothers from their children and the defunding of Planned Parenthood, as well as pushing back against world leaders who have a history of women's rights abuses. 

Of course, the issues women care about expand beyond reproductive rights and paid family leave. Women, like all Americans, are heavily invested in the quality of our economy. Sanders has come out ahead on this issue, calling for a $15 minimum wage and demanding an expansion of social security.

Clinton has since proposed a similar economic plan, but many have seen her updated policies as a way of catering to a voter base that has moved unexpectedly to the left. If she fails to deliver a message voters - female voters - can get behind, Clinton may be looking at a repeat of her loss in 2008.