Since there was quite a bit of discussion on earlier threads today about the First Lady, the way she & other female politicians are regarded by people on opposite sides of the political divide, and the way the media perceives the distinctions made between Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin, I couldn’t resist stealing some more excellent commentary from Tom Scocca. First, he did a guest post for XXFactor (Slate‘s ‘women’s issues’ subgroup) explaining that “Linda McMahon’s Gender Gap Is Nothing Special“:
Why don’t women want to vote for Linda McMahon in Connecticut? The Times suggests it’s the “harshness” of her campaign, the overkill levels of spending, and her association with pro wrestling’s “cartoonish and demeaning depictions of women.”…
The affiliation that’s hurting McMahon with women in the polls isn’t the WWE; it’s the GOP. This year’s surge of Republican enthusiasm is a male phenomenon. The simplest explanation for McMahon’s lack of female support is that female voters aren’t the ones who want to replace Democrats with Republicans.
In West Virginia, Republican John Raese leads Democrat Joe Manchin by 9 points among men but trails Manchin by 10 points among women. Time has Wisconsin Republican nominee Ron Johnson ahead of Russ Feingold by 15 points among men, but tied among women.
And in Washington state, where Democrat Patty Murray is running against Republican Dino Rossi, women favor Murray by 31 points, while men favor Rossi by 15. That’s a 46-point gender gap—McMahon’s gap is 27 points—with nobody making anybody bark like a dog.
Scocca followed up with a post on his own Slate blog:
Forty-six points! That is insane. Why do people who live in the same state and maybe sleep in the same house see the politically situation completely differently, depending on what kind of genitals they have? How did politics get so profoundly fractured along gender lines? Are men that much more emotionally wounded by the collapse of the economy? Where is Robert Bly when you need him? There’s a lot more going on here than the question of whether Linda McMahon makes Connecticut ladies uncomfortable. Maybe the Times could put a reporter or two on it.
No doubt some Very Serious Pundit — I’m guessing BoBo Brooks, but maybe Dean Broder will beat him to deadline — can explain to all of us DFHs that white suburban men are still the natural measure of all things significant…