Mind the gap

American politics is simple: white people vote Republican, non-white people (not just the black ones) vote Democrat. Christians (including Mormons) who go to church or are evangelical vote Republican, non-Christians (agnostics, Jews, Muslims, etc.) vote Democrat, and half-assed non-evangelical Christians are somewhere in the middle. Men vote Republican, women vote Democrat. (Slightly OT: Can a brother get an amen for less-observant white Catholics, the only white religious group that went for Obama in 2008?)

That’s most of what there is to know about American politics. Sure, there’s other more Inside Baseball type stuff, but after 2006 and 2008, it’s not out of place to ask Karl Rove how that microey, targety thing is working’ out for ya.

The gender gap is not as pronounced as the others. There was a 12 point gender gap in the 2008 election, 14 in 2004, 21 in 2000, whereas the other gaps I mentioned (white versus non-white, Tebow-fearing versus Tebow-hating) are more like 40. But it’s pretty good bet in any general election that the Democratic candidate will do 10 or more points better among women than men. That’s why this is so dumb:

Elizabeth Warren is poised to thrash Scott Brown in their marquee U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts, and the reason is simple: Women voters love her. In the most recent poll, in December, Warren and Brown were virtually tied amongst men, but Warren led by 13 percentage points, 51 percent to 38 percent, amongst women.

[….]

President Obama ought to pay heed: Warren’s campaign can offer important lessons to his own. He too will need to secure women voters if he wants to earn re-election. And he, too, could do so by adopting Warren’s proud communitarian appeal.

In other words, Warren does exactly as well among women voters as Obama did among women voters in 2008 (I mean exactly — Obama won women voters by 13 points in 2008) and therefore Obama should learn from her campaign.

I love Elizabeth Warren, probably to a degree that is a bit unhealthy, I can’d deny it. But how is her performance among women in MA news? She’s a woman, which might make her poll better among women, in state supposedly filled with woman-hating Catholic men (though see above, haters), and yet almost exactly duplicates Obama’s numbers.

Elizabeth Warren is not the Lifetime Network of candidates. These numbers prove that and anyone who’s seen her speeches can see that. You can give to her campaign here.

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69 replies
  1. 1
    General Stuck says:

    You really have to separate white women voters between married and single. Single women vote wildly in favor of dems, married women do the opposite. Lots of theories on why this is, but dems do better when they target single women.

    edit – and I would add, for those married security/soccer mom types, Obama should do better as he is doing so well overall in national security polling. or not

  2. 2
    OzoneR says:

    I’ll be honest, in a state as Democratic as Massachusetts where Democratic candidates often get 60%+, Warren should be doing better than 13 points. Obama won Massachusetts women by 38 points in 2008. He won men by 14, what’s Warren’s problem? Maybe she needs to learn from Obama.

    But then again he’s running against an incumbent who posed nude for a magazine, and still- Massholes.

  3. 3
    Cat Lady says:

    Scott Brown is running further left. He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer but he’s not stupid and he knows how to campaign and has the ability to suss the zeitgeist in Mass., so there’s no room for complacency.

  4. 4
    Egg Berry says:

    I love Elizabeth Warren, probably to a degree that is a bit unhealthy

    is this possible?

  5. 5
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @OzoneR:

    Brown is a good politician. Warren is in his head, and I think he may lose badly. But he ran a very good campaign last time.

  6. 6
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    and while this isn’t hitching your wagon to Sarah Palin stupid, Elizabeth Warren also benefits from the stupidity of her opponent:

    * In Massachusetts, Sen. Scott Brown (R) has used nearly $10,000 in donor money to pay his daughter to sing at three campaign events. (Candidates’ family members usually go to rallies for free.)

    That just cracks my shit up, and I’m sure it’ll go over like a fart in church to any small donors Brown may have

  7. 7
    vernon says:

    That’s most of what there is to know about American politics.

    Gotta disagree, Doug. There’s also the preposterous fact that the working class votes GOP. If I may quote Tom Frank at length:

    “[T]he main reason conservatives have been able to annex the language of social class so completely is that their opponents have been silent on the subject. The Democratic leadership decided years ago not to talk class any more. These days they, too, rely on corporate handouts to fund their campaigns; they, too, own stocks and live in suburbs; and they believe that, as the monopoly party of ‘the Left’, they will receive the votes of workers and the poor without making concessions to them, rhetorical or otherwise. This idiotic strategy has been a godsend for the Right, which has proceeded to capture and turn every element of the old class-based critique of American life (such as press bias) over the last thirty years. The results are impressive. Not only do billionaire libertarians routinely claim to speak with the vox populi, but class anger in America is channelled almost exclusively at that snooty species known as the ‘liberal’; that there are upper-class people who ride in limousines and eat fancy pasta while living in Texas and voting Republican is, for [conservative pundits], simply not tenable. This curious cultural fact in turn provides Republicans with a perverse incentive for pushing the country still further down the free market road to social disaster: the worse things get for workers, they have reason to believe, the angrier we will become at those elitist liberals, and the more Republicans will be returned to office.”

    Ms. Warren could be a sign of the end of this predicament; I hope to God she is.

  8. 8
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @vernon:

    Only the white working class.

  9. 9
    Steve says:

    In light of recent events, people can’t be reminded often enough that Obama flat-out rejected Boehner’s demands for cuts to Planned Parenthood’s Title X funding in the government shutdown negotiations last April.

    The president replied, “Nope. Zero.”

    Boehner continued to push to discuss the funds, the aide recalled.

    The President repeated: “Nope. Zero.”

    “‘John, this is it,'” the aide described the president as saying. “‘This is it, John.”

    Mitt Romney certainly wouldn’t have held that line. Mitt Romney wouldn’t have drawn it in the first place.

    Many people think issues like women’s health funding are the subject of broad agreement. They don’t realize just how up for grabs those issues are in the political process. Hopefully this week was a valuable reminder.

  10. 10
    slag says:

    @OzoneR:

    He won men by 14, what’s Warren’s problem?

    She doesn’t have a truck.

  11. 11
    Felinious Wench says:

    This family of lily-white Episcopalians has been liberal Democrats for 5 generations….including those who bear penii. Might be because they’re scared to death of the women, tho.

    My poor husband has been staying out of my line of vision since the Komen Kerfluffel. I have been so furious, anyone who speaks with me gets profanity-laced rants on right-wing zealots. This was the last straw for me in every way. Boobies? Our wombs weren’t enough, now it’s the boobies they’re interfering with? What’s next, my estrogen?

    And I refuse to believe any poll that does not include a 27% in it somewhere.

  12. 12
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I love Warren, but I do think people should be careful saying stuff like “It’s Massachusetts, of course a Democrat will win”. Because that’s partially why Scott Brown is in office in the first place.

  13. 13
    Sophia says:

    (Slightly OT: Can a brother get an amen for less-observant white Catholics, the only white religious group that went for Obama in 2008?)

    It’s worth maintaining a Catholic identity just for this. Prune, Ratzi, Prune. (jk sucker, we’ll outlast you)

  14. 14
    vernon says:

    @DougJarvus Green-Ellis:

    Well, yeah. Just like I could have said “only the white ‘Christians who go to church or are evangelical.'” Not much point in saying it though.

  15. 15
    Lev says:

    @DougJarvus Green-Ellis: It was definitely a case of all the planets aligning, for sure. But I lay the blame for the Dems losing their supermajority mostly at the feet of Max Baucus (with a tiny bit to Harry Reid and Obama for not pushing him, but in the end they don’t own Baucus). If he’d given up on the Gang Of Six stupidity and gotten that bill through–so that it could have been signed into law by Christmas–Brown would have lost. He won to a large extent on Democratic frustration.

  16. 16
    moonbat says:

    @Steve: Well remembered. That was key.

  17. 17
    Zandar says:

    In other words, Warren does exactly as well among women voters as Obama did among women voters in 2008 (I mean exactly—Obama won women voters by 13 points in 2008) and therefore Obama should learn from her campaign.

    That’s because “Telling President Obama What He Should Do Because We Secretly Think He Can’t Be That Bright, Really” is the national fucking pastime among the moneyed class in both parties.

    Yes, the same happened to Bush. Here’s the thing: Obama is smarter. People don’t want to admit that. So he needs to do X “win” the women’s vote and Y to get the Jewish vote and Z to earn the Latino vote and the people invariably giving him this advice don’t actually belong to any of the above categories that they want to “advise” the President on.

    And yet he keeps winning doing what he’s doing. Funny how that works.

  18. 18
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I’m from a big, working class-to-upper middle class Catholic family and a lot of them voted Democrat for I think the first time in 2008. I don’t know how they’re feeling now-I don’t talk politics much with them. One thing I do know and that fills me with pride is that my white Catholic working-class grandfather has been voting Democrat since Adlai Stevenson, and the politician he hates more than any other is Rick Scott.

    That’s my Mom’s side. My dad’s side are rural Midwestern protestants who range from middle-left to a particular uncle who was a Firebagger before Hamsher was even born.

  19. 19
    MikeJ says:

    Whaddya know, even the liberal New Republic says Obama suxx0rs. I’m shocked.

  20. 20
    piratedan says:

    @vernon: and courtesy of the GOP legislatures in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Arizona, that too may change.

  21. 21

    @Felinious Wench:

    The whole spectacle is infuriating, isn’t it? Would it be wrong to hope for something untoward to happen to these people? Probably.

  22. 22
    moonbat says:

    But, Doug, this will be the constant drumbeat against Obama all campaign season long — the equivalent of “This is good news for John McCain!” The MSM will persist in pretending that Obama has this campaign problem, i.e. He’s lost the Jewish vote! He’s lost the Latino Vote! He’s lost the wimmen vote! And ignore the fact that this man is really one of the most gifted politicians of this age, certainly in my lifetime. The dirty little secret that they have to try to hide until November lest the ratings take a hit, is that the more people get to know Romney the more they dislike him. Therefore, Obama must have Problem X. This throws everything into doubt! Stay Tuned!

    Or what Zandar just said

  23. 23
    OzoneR says:

    @Zandar: The problem with this article is its making the case that Obama needs to learn how to run a national campaign from a woman whos running one in a state 10-15 points more Democratic than the country as a whole.

    It doesn’t make sense.

  24. 24
    Lev says:

    @moonbat: I’m okay with that, if the good news for Mitt Romney is just as good as it was for John McCain.

  25. 25
    slag says:

    @Steve: I think that was a good call. And worth remembering.

    However, as leery as I am of bully pulpit arguments, in general, I find that women’s health is one of very few subjects on which Obama has been particularly ineloquent in public. Not always; just more than I would like. It would be nice to see that change.

    Like kay, I think women need to be brought back into the focus of the discussion. And he, and his political assets, could be a force for helping make that happen.

  26. 26
    vernon says:

    @piratedan: Let’s hope so!

  27. 27
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ @ Top:

    Can a brother get an amen for less-observant white Catholics, the only white religious group that went for Obama in 2008?

    Yay for alla us lapsed Catholics! Amen, Brother!

    (Agnostic bordering on atheist cultural Catholic here.)

    .

  28. 28
    schrodinger's cat says:

    American politics is simple: white people vote Republican,

    Is that true about the Northeast in general and New England in particular?

  29. 29

    @vernon:
    To engage in minutia, a blue collar worker might know a gay, less likely have a gay friend, and really unlikely be gay so when you talk to them about gay marriage or gay rights you just scored a miss on their concerns. (homophobia to the side) (statistically speaking on demographics) There are things that they’re concerned about, owning guns is pretty likely, wages and costs are damned likely, going broke over health care, losing their job or house.

    If you oppose them on something they care about or give them nothing on the issues they do care about somebody else is able to push the emotion buttons and probably will. Sure you can tell them you’ll tax the rich, but how do they see that in regard to their interests? Outside SS/FICA and state taxes their tax burden is mostly visible in a sales tax and not many pols will tell them how disproportionate that tax is.

    Ah well, those exit polls show just exactly how damned useful it is telling Democrats this stuff.

  30. 30
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Much, much less true of the northeast than the rest of the country.

  31. 31
    Mark S. says:

    I’m really starting to wonder how you could be a woman and vote Republican.

  32. 32
    vernon says:

    @Chuck Butcher: I hear you. But Ms Warren IS talking about class, & killing by doing so.

    This is a good sign. It bears pointing out.

  33. 33
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @JGabriel:

    (Agnostic bordering on atheist cultural Catholic here.)

    Me too.

  34. 34
    SRW1 says:

    @Felinious Wench:

    This family of lily-white Episcopalians has been liberal Democrats for 5 generations….including those who bear penii.

    You have family members with multiple endowments? Awesome!

  35. 35
    someguy says:

    So basically the Republicans carry a majority of presumptively bigoted privileged class members, and the people who think that an imaginary man in the sky is telling them how to act and to stone homos.

    And we get the remainder.

  36. 36
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @someguy:

    Yeah, exactly.

  37. 37

    @Zandar:
    You’ll see no shortage of it here. Armchair quarterbacking is natural, but on the liberal side a shocking amount of the criticism of Obama has been from people convinced that he’s using the wrong tactics and that their method works better and his is doomed. They get really, really emotional and certain about it.

    Although you know, that’s died off lately. Maybe the evidence has finally climbed high enough that the man accomplishes more with a smile and a kind word and a knife in the back than the masters of screaming, the GOP.

  38. 38
    Anya says:

    I bet the offsprings of nominally religious white Episcopalian mothers and culturally Muslim African fathers always vote for the democrats. Granted we’re a tiny group, but a very reliable voting block. Also, too, we’re the bigots’ worst nightmare.

  39. 39
    efgoldman says:

    @SRW1:

    You have family members with multiple endowments? Awesome!

    Obviously, you’re not familiar with the latest internet p0rn sensation.

  40. 40
    SRW1 says:

    @efgoldman:

    Brother, can ya give me directions?

  41. 41
    JGabriel says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Maybe the evidence has finally climbed high enough that the man accomplishes more with a smile and a kind word and a knife in the back than the masters of screaming, the GOP.

    Dude! Let’s leave the Dolchstoß rumors to the GOP. That’s really more in their line of thinking and cultural history.

    .

  42. 42
    RSA says:

    Among the many things that bug me about modern political commmentary is the assumption that white men are the most important demographic in any election. It’s not just about the numbers; it strikes me that the support for Obama from white men is generally treated as more of a serious issue than, say, a Republican candidate’s support from women, or from blacks, or from Latinos, or whatever. Of course, the real problem, I think, is that most political commentators are white men.

  43. 43
    JasonF says:

    Can a brother get an amen for less-observant white Catholics, the only white religious group that went for Obama in 2008

    Jews went overwhelmingly for Obama as well, notwithstanding right-wing attempts to suggest Obama would like to drive Israel into the sea. And while Pew doesn’t break Jews down by race, there just aren’t that many non-white Jews in the U.S.

  44. 44
    Rafer Janders says:

    (Slightly OT: Can a brother get an amen for less-observant white Catholics, the only white religious group that went for Obama in 2008?)

    Simple explanation, really: white Catholics tend to be Irish, Italian and, to a lesser extent, German (and French Cajun in Louisiana). When we came to the US we tended to stay in the cities on the coasts, places like Boston, New York, New Orleans, Baltimore, San Francisco, and Chicago.

    We also became cops, firefighters, teachers or other government employees, and joined unions. So you’ve got an urban, largely North-Northeast and West Coast population which doesn’t fear living and working among different creeds and races and which doesn’t hate unions or the government. It makes perfect sense that we’d vote Democratic.

  45. 45
    Bruce S says:

    So a group (non-evangelical Christians – which includes the President) that’s “somewhere in the middle” gets the glib characterization of “half-assed.” Maybe this inside-the-bubble locution contributes to the fact that Dems have problems with some of these folks that too many of them – frankly – exude little but contempt for…

    I want to broaden the field and win. Not exalt my righteousness with “politics is simple” reductions that, frankly, aren’t helpful except as cartoons.

  46. 46
    eemom says:

    @slag:

    I find that women’s health is one of very few subjects on which Obama has been particularly ineloquent in public.

    Maybe he haz a embarrassed talking about girl parts.

  47. 47
    toujoursdan says:

    Mainline Protestants (Episcopalians, United Church of Christ, Quakers, ELCA Lutherans, PCUSA Presbyterians, Disciples of Christ, American Baptists, [northern] United Methodists, etc.) moved over to the Democratic camp in mid-late 1980s and have been a fairly reliable voting bloc since.

    These denominations, which have about 20 million adults together, have gone through a complete transformation since the 1960s from being the churches of the “establishment” (particularly Episcopalians and Presbyterians) to being a counter-cultural, social justice oriented, inclusive groups. Many, more conservative members and parishes left for the religious right over the past 20 years leaving this group as a natural progressive voting bloc.

    I am an active Episcopalian who serves on my church’s vestry and in the diocese. Several of the surrounding parishes have openly gay clergy in relationships. Our Bishop (and all the other NY Episcopal bishops except one) were vocal supporters of marriage equality in New York State. Several parishes are members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Many advocate for universal healthcare and maintenance of the social safety net. And most have good partnerships with more progressive Jewish and even Muslim groups in the area.

    The media ignores us because we don’t fall into the stereotype of religious people (and frankly, we’re not as entertaining as the religious right or Catholic bishops) so we’re often forgotten or brushed off as being not loud enough.

  48. 48
    Bruce S says:

    “Christians…who go to church or are evangelical vote Republican”

    Because nothing significant in the black community or African-American culture matters except their skin color. Right?

  49. 49
    Heliopause says:

    American politics is simple: white people vote Republican, non-white people (not just the black ones) vote Democrat.

    Right off the bat you’re wrong. Non-southern whites went very close to 50% for Obama. Northeast whites, west coast whites went for Obama. It’s only “simple” if you set simple parameters.

  50. 50
    Bruce S says:

    toujoursdan – thank you.

  51. 51
    boss bitch says:

    What Zandar said. I have no problems with Warren at all but I’m getting tired of these ridiculous types of articles.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Rafer Janders: My midwestern family of 3/4 mainline Protestants and 1/4 French-Canadian Catholics were either Democratic or Republican Progressives until the Depression when basically everyone went Dem. (A few exceptions in there, of course.)

  53. 53
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @JasonF:

    I mentioned that Jews vote overwhelmingly Democrat.

  54. 54
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @Bruce S:

    By half-assed Christians, I meant most of my family and the like. They’re just not the into it.

  55. 55
    OzoneR says:

    @JasonF:

    Jews went overwhelmingly for Obama as well, notwithstanding right-wing attempts to suggest Obama would like to drive Israel into the sea. And while Pew doesn’t break Jews down by race, there just aren’t that many non-white Jews in the U.S.

    But religious “evangelical” type Jews did not. Orthodox Jews vote Republican- that’s why there’s a Congressman Bob Turner, that’s why McCain won 75% of the vote in Borough Park, Brooklyn and Kew Gardens Hills, Queens and certain precincts in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Chabad Lubavich Jews did not either, which is why there were 80%-20% McCain precincts in Crown Heights.

    Similar to Christians, the religious Jews vote Republican, there just aren’t too many of them.

  56. 56
    Bruce S says:

    “Similar to Christians, the religious Jews vote Republican”

    Let’s not confuse “religious” with shouting loudest and exuding terminal self-righteousness. Martin Luther King was seriously religious, without making insane claims to special knowledge that superceded, as example, evolutionary theory. Religious fanaticism is just another form of fanaticism and doesn’t have much of anything to do with depth of one’s faith. IMHO it’s usually the “tell” that faith is shallow. Frankly, the more “literally” articulated one’s faith, the less it’s actually faith and seeks, dogmatically, to be something akin to the kind of “explanation” of perceived reality that moderns associate with science. Strange stuff…

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bruce S: On behalf of my religious mother and her side of the family, thank you.

  58. 58
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @Bruce S:

    That is a good point.

  59. 59

    One nit to pick here: A.A. Christians are pretty heavily Democratic. Just saying. Also, white liberal Christians (And there are such beings; I’m one myself) are, too. (I specifically am talking about whites who belong to liberal Christian churches, not white liberals who are Christians, but I don’t know how much a difference–if any–there is between the two, maybe none at all…)

  60. 60

    @RSA:

    Yes. I wonder how many times I heard some version in 2008 of, “Yeah, he’s leading now, but if you take away the black vote, he’s down by 3 points,” or some other suchlike bullshit. I mean, I really don’t get the point here. What, do people really not see black voters are legitimate somehow? I’d hear the same thing sometimes about other groups: “Yeah, well, if you don’t count the women,” or “Well, if you throw out all the Hispanic voters…” Do they really not get that you don’t just get to “take away” the black vote, and you don’t just get to “not count” the women, and you don’t just get to “throw out” the Hispanic votes? I don’t know what the deal is. Maybe these guys don’t like it, but people other than white guys get to vote. You’d think commentators who get paid hundres of thousands of dollars every year to spout off about American politics would have worked out how American politics work by now.

  61. 61
    Cacti says:

    I think this latest non-troversy the GOP’s ginning up with the religious right over birth control is going to have quite the opposite of the intended effect.

    I don’t think a majority of women will be “outraged” that the President isn’t bowing to a gang of pasty, frilly-frocked, Catholic Bishops over access to birth control.

  62. 62
    Pseudo Irishman says:

    As a practicing political scientist, I thank you, DougJarvus, for the admirable clean-up job you have conducted on this piece of drivel. It make my job in the classroom ever so slightly easier.

  63. 63
    Suffern ACE says:

    If all states had voters who were responded the way Massachusetts voters do, there would president Kerry would be finishing up term 2, and we would not have invaded Iraq as the first gulf war would have happened on president Dukakis’ watch, thereby freeing bush ii from daddy issues.

  64. 64
    mattH says:

    Nice Zim reference there.

  65. 65
    mdblanche says:

    @RSA: That’s because anyone who isn’t a white male only gets three fifths of a vote. What’s that? They changed that rule? When did that happen?

  66. 66
    mothra says:

    My 99% white member church is at least 1/3 Democratic party voter. And I am from good ole red state Tennessee. We’re here, and we read the SOCIAL GOSPEL, not just a few selected verses from Leviticus. Obama attended the United Church of Christ, and they preach the it. Obama is not talking.about a half-assed version of Christianity when he speaks of caring for the poor, he’s giving you the real deal.

  67. 67
    AxelFoley says:

    @Lev:

    @moonbat: I’m okay with that, if the good news for Mitt Romney is just as good as it was for John McCain.

    LOL, this.

  68. 68
    AxelFoley says:

    @Mark S.:

    I’m really starting to wonder how you could be a woman black person Latino Jewish person gay man or woman non-white male and vote Republican.

    Fix’d for accuracy.

  69. 69
    Swishalicious says:

    just wanted to drop by here (quite late) to Terraist Fist Bump for white male lax Catholics!

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