When President Obama addresses the nation in the next hour, he needs to speak directly to one key demographic: women. In an historic election, women closed the gender gap last night. In 2008, women favored Obama over McCain by 13 points, but ABC exit polls yesterday found women voted 49-49. Women over 65 favored Republicans over Democrats 57 to 41. It wasn’t quite the 19-point swing Pew’s poll of likely women voters suggested it could have been, but according to ABC, the GOP gained 12 percent of women who voted for Obama in 2008.

Obama needs to make it clear that he’s done playing gender politics and that he’s ready to address the issues that matter most to women (and men) – the ballooning size of government, fiscal responsibility, individual rights, and real health care reform.