Every time a prominent female Republican candidate (not a Democratic one) comes out of nowhere to win a nomination for a prominent office, the talking heads go gaga. They talk about how appealing she is to women, and how female voters will flock to her because of her message and enthusiasm. The only problem is that this concept has been proven wrong time and time again. Women do not vote their gender — they are more likely than men to vote for Democrats. They vote for Democrats, and even if the majority of women vote Republican in a specific election, men more likely to vote Republican by an even wider margin.
Polls and election results show that there is a gender gap in American politics. This gap used to be mostly nonexistent, then went in the opposite direction for a short time (Richard Nixon won the women’s vote in 1960, while John Kennedy won men, in an election decided by 0.1 percent), and steadily closed (in 1976, Jimmy Carter won 50 percent of the total vote, with 50 percent of men and 50 percent of women). Now it is wide (in 2008, Barack Obama won men 49-48, but women 56-43, and in 1996, Bob Dole won the male vote despite Bill Clinton winning by a wide margin), especially in many non-presidential elections. In the Oregon race for governor this year, the Democratic nominee, former governor John Kitzhaber, won women 62-36, but his Republican opponent, former Portland Trail Blazer and businessman Chris Dudley, won men 60-36 (Kitzhaber won all voters by 1 percent).
Scholarly articles show it is more than a shift of men to the GOP than a shift of women to the Democrats. Democratic identification among women has been mostly constant since the 1950s. Why does this gender gap exist? That can merit an article on its own; political scientists have published many academic journals on this topic.
Look at exit polls and you will see that female GOP candidates win more male votes. A pattern is shown in most races: If the race is between a female Republican and a male Democrat, the Democrat does better with women. If the race is between a female Republican and a female Democrat, the Democrat does better with women. If the race is between a male Republican and a female Democrat, the Democrat does better with women. If the race is between a male Republican and a male Democrat, the Democrat does better with women.
Do you see a pattern? Everyone said in 2008 that Sarah Palin would bring in women voters, when actually men liked her more than women. They even still talk about it with the lady who caused a huge impediment toward any GOP hopes of taking the Senate — Christine O’Donnell, who lost by 17 points.
The talking heads were saying that Christine O’Donnell could win in Delaware against her opponent Chris Coons because of her appeal to women, especially Hillary Clinton voters. Really? It’s been two years! Can’t we finally accept the fact that Democrats still like Obama? Obama won 90 percent of Democrats in the election, and 80 percent of Democrats approve of him right now.
There is no schism in the Democratic ranks, and there never was. Besides, Hillary Clinton voters are Democrats. Democrats typically don’t vote for Republicans, especially in statewide races, and especially if they are Republicans who believe that masturbation is wrong, believe that co-ed college dormitories lead to “orgy rooms” and that women in the military endanger our safety. Another idea was that women would see these attacks on O’Donnell, like calling her a witch (which she put on herself — one cannot expect something so absurd and unexpected to not be ridiculed), and then support her out of sympathy. They apparently don’t want to see those sexist men, who they once supported, to win.
Women have beliefs of their own and do not stick up for a random woman when they are picked on, especially when they never really liked the woman to begin with. And they certainly would never vote for someone solely out of sympathy, nor would anybody.
Women do not go for female candidates just because they’re women. And it actually is offensive. Are men going to vote for male candidates just because they’re men? If a man is being attacked by women, can you honestly see men sticking up for him out of sexist spite?