Republicans Have a Woman Problem

I was feeling kind of meh about the midterms last week, but as more House races are called things are looking up. Stanley Greenberg wrote,

It was transformative, knocking down what we assumed were Electoral College certainties. We didn’t immediately see this transformation because we assumed that Mr. Trump and the polarization in his wake still governed as before.

First of all, Democrats did not win simply because white women with college degrees rebelled against Mr. Trump’s misogyny, sexism and disrespect for women. Nearly every category of women rebelled. …

… Yes, House Democrats increased their vote margin nationally among white women with at least a four-year degree by 13 points compared with the Clinton-Trump margin in 2016. But Democrats also won 71 percent of millennial women and 54 percent of unmarried white women (who split their votes two years earlier). In 2018, unmarried white women pushed up their vote margin for Democrats by 10 points. In fact, white women without a four-year degree (pollster shorthand for the white working class) raised their vote margin for Democrats by 13 points.

Greenberg documents that there was a move among white working-class men toward Democrats also, although it wasn’t as dramatic as the move among white working’class women.

Last week, Lindsey Graham lamented that Republicans lost votes among suburban women. “We’ve got to address the suburban woman problem,” he said. Miz Lindsey also was saying the day after the midterm that the Senate vote had been Brett Kavanaugh’s revenge, because red state Democrats who had voted against Kavanaugh lost.

Somebody send him Greenberg’s analysis. Whether the Kavanaugh vote actually made any difference to Claire McCaskill or Heidi Heitkamp is not that clear. McCaskill toward the end was running a very cautious race emphasizing how centrist and moderate she is, and I suspect she might have done better in the urban districts if she’d come out promising to fight Donald Trump. That centrist red state Democrats lost doesn’t necessarily mean they would have done better if they were even more centrist.

But now we’re hearing that women across the board were more likely to vote for Democrats. Hmm, I wonder why?

 Liberal political commentator Anushay Hossain told the Fix:

“When we say ‘suburban,’ we are really talking about white women, and while they make up the majority of Trump supporters, current and past, I think it is impossible for them to continue to ignore Trump’s basic disregard for women and our rights, both culturally and politically, with his policies and rhetoric.”

But suburban voters’ concerns with the GOP weren’t limited to the commander in chief. They found the positions and behavior of legislators like Graham troublesome as well.

The veteran lawmaker had what some deemed a “meltdown” as he defended Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was facing accusations of sexual assault. In his desire to protect Trump’s nominee, he made public his disbelief of Christine Blasey Ford, the clinical psychologist who accused Kavanaugh of inappropriately touching her without consent while the two were in high school.

I doubt Senate Republicans to this day realize what they did to themselves and their party in those hearings.

After Republicans voted in favor of Kavanaugh, Graham and others on the right believed that women voters would see their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons in Kavanaugh, and side with Republicans aiming to protect men facing accusations of sexual assault. … But women largely disagreed and decided to back lawmakers, many of them women, who voted against confirming Kavanaugh, who continued to face low approval ratings from women, according to a Washington Post/ABC poll.

And I don’t think that disagreement is going to go away.

That Republicans kept the Senate is largely a factor of the particular electoral map of 2018; most Senate races Dems needed to win were in conservative states. Given voter suppression tactics, Florida’s historic inability to count votes and that the Georgia race was stolen in plain sight, the Senate was just too big a hill to climb this time.

Philip Bump provides data showing that a Trump endorsement, or even a Trump rally, didn’t do much to help Republicans.

Our first look at Trump’s tweeted endorsements showed that his candidate won about half the time, meaning that an endorsement from Trump was about the same as an endorsement from George Washington (in coin form, once flipped). …

…In the House districts where he held rallies — usually not on behalf of the House candidates — the vote relative to the 2016 election was more heavily Democratic in 20 of 25 districts. If we consider a national shift of about three points to the Democrats (the 2016 national margin, compared with the national House vote as of Nov. 15, which favors the Democrats by about five points), 17 of 25 House districts where Trump rallied moved more to the Democrats than the country did overall. …¬† [In Senate races] Trump visited only two states he didn’t win in 2016: Nevada and Illinois. Democrats picked up a Senate seat and a governor’s mansion in those states, respectively. They also got that Arizona Senate seat won by Sinema.


Orange County, California, is now solid blue for the first time since 1940.

And do read ‘Nothing on this page is real’: How lies become truth in online America. It’s horrible and fascinating.

21 thoughts on “Republicans Have a Woman Problem

  1. "Whether the Kavanaugh vote actually made any difference to Claire McCaskill or Heidi Heitkamp is not that clear"

    Not sure either, but I know what happened to our Blue-dog Squish Donnelly. He got in on Obama's coat tails and tried to sit on the fence for six years. It might have worked if he would have campaigned like a blue-dog squish, instead he ran ads about how him and Trump love each other? Trump was actually featured in two of his ads that ran at the very beginning and the very end. My neighbor knowing I'm a democrat put a Donnely sign in my tard, I kindly returned it. I voted for him but almost skipped it, his vote against beer bong brett was the only reason. Anyway I think the election was razor close, I wouldn't get too excited one way or the other. The ameican voter has proven time and again that they are capaple of making bad desisions at any moment. One unrelated thing is pissing me off, the democrats are trying to change a 181 year old rule banning headwear on the house floor. They want some of the newly elected members to be able to wear headware like hijabs and kippahs. Nope sorry I say keep the rule in place, do we believe in the separation of church and state or not? Besides if they over turn the rule expect to see red MAGAT hats and gigantic crosses!

  2. Still basking in blue Orange County….stunned that political novice Katie Porter (barely) trounced Trump toady Mimi Walters in CA-45, solid Reagan/John Wayne country. 

    Walters tried to glom onto the MeToo movement, by virtue of her XX chromosome ("hey look at me"), but Katie made it real with yard signs that read MIMI VOTED WITH TRUMP 99% OF THE TIME.

  3. I'm pleased with the outcome of the House races and the shift of women voters against Trump. I agree it's a seismic event especially if the GOP cements the perception with decisions like ramming thru the Kavanaugh vote. That's a 'victory' that will haunt the GOP until Kav is dead and the magnitude may grow if other evidence of misdeeds land at Kavanugh's doorstep.

    (I favor House investigations of Kavanaugh – who knows what may turn up. That's not to say I expect to be able to impeach Kavanaugh but I think we can reinforce the perception that he's the sleaziest justice on the court. Let the GOP defense of Kavanaugh be a branding of sexism as the coin of the realm in Trumpland.)

    I agree with uncledad on keeping the rule on headgear in place but modified so a member can petition for an exception if he/she can provide grounds. 

    The strategy of investigations maybe should not be impeachment as much as exposing documented truth. The GOP will have to embrace what is exposed and the result I think of as making GOP members of the House and Senate embrace turds. The stench of the family separation policy (the details and culprits are still unknown) is incredibly foul – get it on the open and get GOP members of Congress on the record. There's going to be a laundry list of stuff which can be exposed in the next year. That's without the evidence of the Mueller investigation and possible indictments. 

  4. I know that Trump has been getting some sh#t about using songs at his rallies. Apparently some artists would rather not be associated with him? Well I've found the perfect theme song, it fits Trump’s brand to a tee. Plus this dude is long gone so who's the wiser? I really like this singer, one of my favorites, but I’m sure he would understand!

  5. To House Democrats:

    Leave talk of impeachment as a gentle reminder to tRUMP when he does something even more remarkably stupid, dangerous, and Authoritarian than…  Well, than every day.  

    In other words, to be used very sparingly.

    Instead, focus on passing all sorts of liberal/progressive initiatives, even if/when me, you, and all the R's in the House know that the R's in the Senate will burn them, and dance and pee on the ashes. 

    Let the ancient, unimaginative, albino male Republican seniors in the Senate – who can't find their zippers, even with a GPS – declare their highly partisan objections. 

    Let them block universal health care, middle class tax cuts, improving education, infrastructure repair, ways to drastically reduce America's Carbon footprint, decrease the wealth/poverty gap, etc… 

    Oh, and, here are 2 things the R's will really hate:  



    Show people what they can get, if only they use their heads for something besides putting a MAGA hat on!

    Pave the way with great ideas, and creative, ways to finance them, for our D-Day: 

    November, 2020

  6. Come on Gulag:  Uncledad has a wide appreciation of music.  Anyway, thanks to my dad, I grew up on classical, Bing Crosby and country.  Faron Young was one of my favorites. So you can ROTFLYAO at me too.

  7. Faron Young was famously quoted as saying:  "I love negroes.  I think everybody ought to own one."

  8. grannyeagle,

    You took my ROTFLMAO the wrong way.

    I LOVE old country music like Mr. Young!  I actually saw him on TV when I was  kid.

    What I was laughing at was uncledad's uncanny knack for picking great music links – seemingly out of…  Well, let's say, his nether regions.  And they're always perfect!

    Country lost its edge and became unlistenable – at least to me – after MTV exploded on the scene.

    Country music exec's tried to "prettify" their product.

    The problem was that the new younger stars looked great.  But there was no grit in the music.  And the music and lyrics seemed formulaic.

     "Rhinestone Cowboy," indeed.

  9. I don't think Louie Gomert wearing his coonskin cap while sitting on the House Intelligence Committee is going to fly. He comes off as enough of a rustic just by his accent and mannerisms alone. He's like a character that came off the drawing board at Hanna-Barbera studios.

    uncledad…I've never heard of Faron Young. I like his voice and I like his country sound.

  10. The blues makes a person feel so bad you start to feel good.  Country gets you half the way there.  


  11. Grannyeagle: " Faron Young was one of my favorites "

    Thanks Granny, mine too, still is, he really had a great voice, better than almost any other male artist in my opinion. It's easy to degrade popular country, most of it past and present was complete assembly line garbage but just like anything there were examples of greatness, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Faron Young, George Jones, unfortunately even those great artists were led astray at times by Nashville's penchant for tawdriness. I'm not sure what to think of what passes for country today, much of it seems to be a mix of country and rap, or as a guy I play music with calls it CRAP!


  12. The darling old crone of the Antebellum South, Lindsay Graham, says they've got to address the suburban women problem, the one they created to the current extent over the last two years, culminating in the Kavanaugh circus.  For the hate-filled fossils in the GOP, they'll "address" it by showcasing the even fewer women they have left in leadership in tokenized, stereotypical displays of pure BS, designed to "fool" suburban women into thinking, oh yeah, these guys have changed.  That's the extent of "change" when it comes to the GOP, e.g. never do anything substantive, just a repetitive combination of BS and grease to the extent they thoroughly fool themselves, which of course means everyone else is fooled.  That's the extent of their outreach beyond their white supremacist/bigot cultural foundation.

  13. I was reminded of this quote from Alfred North Whitehead after reading Nothing on this Page is Real:  How Lies Become Truth in Online America.

    The major advances in civilization are processes
    that all but wreck the societies in which they occur.
    — Alfred North Whitehead

    I see the social wreckage from the development of computers in conjunction with the internet and social media.  Whitehead was not alive to see any of these advancements.  I wonder, at times, if his "all but" qualifier would apply to this one. 

     Social isolation is the destination of these jaunts into social media it seems.  Blair writes  “Where is the edge? Is there ever a point where people realize they’re being fed garbage and decide to return to reality?”

     Never is the answer I have the most confidence in.  That would mean they would have to throw out their fantasy world they cling to even if it is failing them in every way.  Reality, they think, is just too hard of a road and does not provide the emotional roller coaster ride they are comfortable with.  Understanding and enlightenment are not goals for them.  It is better they think to look out the same distorted window every day and see the view filled with garbage.  It is a world without joy and laughter but the one they settle for.  It is like that which makes humans a social creatures has died and is replaced by some sort of fanaticism. 

  14. Perhaps white, suburban women did in fact see the Kavanaugh hearings and note that his performance during his job interview reminded them entirely too much of their male relatives.

  15. OK, Gulag, I misunderstood.  I agree something happened to country music.  I think I read somewhere that it originally started as folk music brought to this country from Ireland and Scotland.  It always told a story and yes, a lot of it  is sad and makes one feel blue.  But the good thing about that  is one can have a good cry and feel better.  I think my all time favorite country singer/songwriter is Willie Nelson.  My daughter adores him.  The interesting thing about Willie is he tried to be clean-cut and play by the rules in getting started.  Although his songs got published, as an entertainer he had no luck.  Then he grew his hair long and just decided to be himself and look what happened.  He is getting up there in age and according to my daughter, his concerts just aren't what they used to be.  He's getting tired and I think he also has COPD.  But he has had an interesting life.  I had a cat once I named Willie as a kitten.  Later I discovered it was a female but she kept the name.  I don't think Willie would mind.

  16. grannyeagle,

    The young George Carlin was a fairly successful comedian.  He played Vegas, appeared on Ed Sullivan.

    But eventually he figured, like Willie, to just be himself!

    And BOOM!  His career toom of lie a rocket,

     "To thine own self be true."

  17. Nancy Pelosi said something I'm not sure I've heard another politician say, and I have to say I agree 100%:

    " Pelosi, on Trump & the press: “May I say something you’re not going to like? I think the press loves him. All day on TV —and I don’t even watch TV, except sports. But he says somebody had a horse face —all day we hear about that. You just give him all day”

  18. Trump should have a daughter problem.  But it's apparently more interesting to watch that family get away with all that hypocrisy and lying when nobody else can.

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