Object Lessons: Rantings of a Lone Pamphleteer
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Palin's Odds

Today's Lesson: Who is more likely to elect a woman?

I've been bothered by how well McCain is doing in the polls. I don't care that he's losing, nor am I particularly desirous of his being squashed like a bug -- a reasonable November trouncing will do.

Nonetheless, I'm amazed at how many people have decided not to vote for the candidate who obviously has the judgment, intellect, education, and diplomatic attitude to carry off the job.

I know a lot of people wanted a woman to be nominated for highest office, but I argued long and hard against nominating just any woman -- it had to be a good candidate, and Hillary was not the best choice regardless of her gender. (It'd be nice to get to the point where gender was as unlikely a topic as race during an election, but here we are.)

Now McCain has proposed a highly unlikely VP choice, a former beauty-pageant contestant, a candidate with merely two year's experience as Governor of Alaska, and currently under investigation at that. Keeping in mind that McCain's 72 today, and knowing that his last 6 years' medical history ran to 3000 pages, how good of a choice can the Republican ticket be?

The Republicans are hedging their bets, simultaneously pulling their presidential candidate from the same "good old boy network" as always, yet dangling the possibility of the first woman vice president (or president, if the 72-year-old McCain kicks it.)

Now, I know a woman who voted for Hillary because she "had to." For her, there was no choice but to vote for the female candidate, and I assume there are a few women who would jump party lines to vote for Palin as an affirmative action. However, in looking at the numbers, I have to think fewer Republicans are likely to vote for a woman than the Democrats are.

Looking at the highest offices in the U.S., (Governors, Senators, and Representatives) currently serving, it's obvious that the Democrats are more likely to elect women.

Female Governors: 3 R, 4 D
Senators: 5R, 11D
Representatives: 22R, 57D

Out of the 102 women serving in high office, 72 are Democrats! No wonder the DNC had so many women to showcase at the convention.

The Republicans only have 30 in this group. This means 71% of elected women in US Government's highest offices are Democrats. Based on the proportions of each party in these seats (313 Dems and 268 Reps), 23% of elected Dems are women, and only 11% of Republicans are.

Dems are more than twice as likely to succeed in placing women in high office. Most of those votes come from Dems and Independents. Not Republicans.

Nominating Palin does not even serve as an historic first. Hillary was the first woman to seriously contest the presidential race. The Republicans are 24 years behind the times; Dems nominated Geraldine Ferraro 6 presidential elections ago, or two years after McCain started his Congressional career.

Do the Republicans truly think that women will be snowed by this obvious (and delayed) pander, abandon liberal ideals and switch their vote to Republican on the basis of gender alone? Do they not realize that is exactly the type of gender-bias we have been fighting since 1920? They probably do realize that more women vote than men. And I have to think there are as many sexists as racists among male voters. So how exactly does nominating an inexperienced beauty queen and former fisher"man" help the Republicans?

(It doesn't.)

This blatant attempt to get the female vote won't work, because women realize that Republicans have never done much for them. They've been too busy doing it for themselves.



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