Women vote. But will they vote for a woman solely on gender? | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Women vote. But will they vote for a woman solely on gender?

Posted By on Sun, Dec 13, 2015 at 8:29 AM

The New York Times keeps busy finding things wrong with Hillary Clinton's campaign for presidency. Today it is the possibility that her candidacy might not excite younger women.

Imagine. A woman might not vote for a female candidate solely because she's a woman. Even progressive young women. Of course they might not. The road to election is littered with evidence that people will vote against their own interests — see poor people in the South.

The real question here is not today's pre-primary generational divide. The question is this: Will young female Democrats — some fired up now about Bernie Sanders — really stay home if the choice in the general election is Hillary Clinton or any of the Republicans? The Republicans are stridently  anti-choice, to name one good reason for most women to get excited about Clinton, not to mention a list of health, defense and other issues on which gender divides exist. Donald Trump, who's been all over the map on choice, is a possible outlier. But is HE a choice for a sentient human being — male, female or undetermined?

There's no doubt that the new and the young and the fresh name are important factors in this election, on both sides. The other day, when Bob Vander Plaats, a major figure in Iowa Republican evangelical circles, endorsed Ted Cruz, he was asked about his past endorsements of Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012. Why not again? Voters have "moved on," he said. Not for him an old flavor once considered tasty.

Familiarity — in and of itself, record aside — is no virtue.

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