Saturday, March 3, 2007

Gender Bender

The following quote is from a article written on February 26 by David Frum, a Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a power in the conservative movement.

"Men have much stronger political opinions than women do, and they make up their minds much earlier in the election cycle. Women take much longer to decide. And that is why most campaign events and most campaign advertising is aimed at women rather than men: Women are more persuadable.

After the '96 election, journalist Christopher Caldwell asked a pollster specializing in women's issues why women voters decide so much later than men.

The pollster replied, "Do you want the politically correct answer? They're busy juggling both career and home. They're pressed for time. The non-politically correct answer is that they decide late because they're only marginally interested in politics." Women voters are only about two-thirds as likely as male voters to read the newspaper. In 1996, only about half of female voters could name the vice president of the United States."

Do you believe this? Do you know any women who are not politically aware? Who runs grass roots organizations? Who is there at the polls working on election day? Who organizes the bake sales, the marches, the community protests? I think there may be some differences in the topics of political interest between men and women, but I cannot believe that women are "only marginally interested in politics."

Yes, I do believe women are more thoughtful about their political choices and may make their choices later in a campaign cycle. And that's good. But those poor, beleaguered campaign managers have to keep working the whole damn cycle to try to win women's votes. According to this theory, if only men were to vote, we wouldn't need such a long campaign cycle. Day One, vote! Because the men's vote seems to be set in cement.

I think this is just old theory and David Frum is so 80's. Its worth scanning Frum's article just to get a whiff of the cynicism that now drives our election process, not that you didn't know that already.

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