Women against Woman

What counts more: The fact that you’re a conservative or the fact that you’re a woman?  In Texas, conservative women seem to vote as conservatives first and women second.

A new poll from Public Policy Polling reveals that Texas women prefer conservative (male) gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott over liberal (female) candidate Wendy Davis.

There’s no doubt about the relative ideology of the two candidates.  Attorney General Abbott has consistently run as the conservative choice.  So much so that the liberal Texas watchdog group Texas Freedom Network refers to Abbott as an “extremist.”  And Davis has been called a “liberal folk hero” for her inspiring personal story and ferocious filibustering of an anti-abortion bill.

But when it comes to voting, more Texas women prefer Abbott.  According to a poll of 559 registered voters conducted between April 10-13 (margin of error +/- 4.1%), Abbott has a 49 to 41 percent lead among women.  About a third of women had a favorable image of Davis, while almost half had an unfavorable opinion.

Of course, this might not be a simple matter of conservatism trumping gender.  Abbott has a much longer record in Texas politics.  It would make sense for him to crush any opponent, no matter what gender.  And it’s silly to think that there is a single “women’s” position on issues such as abortion, education, or the economy.

Nevertheless, conservative politicians have struggled to fight the image that they are conducting a “War on Women.”  It doesn’t help when blundermouthed GOP leaders such as Todd Akin represent conservatism in the minds of many voters.

This news from Texas shows that conservatives can win among female voters.  In Texas, it seems, women voters put their conservatism first, their gender second.




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1 Comment

  1. Agellius

     /  April 17, 2014

    “Nevertheless, conservative politicians have struggled to fight the image that they are conducting a “War on Women.””

    I don’t think they’re struggling in the least to fight that image. I think they fight it and defeat it quite handily. The fact that others persist in making the accusation doesn’t equate to conservatives having a hard time refuting it.

    “What counts more: The fact that you’re a conservative or the fact that you’re a woman?”

    I think the idea that women should be expected to vote in a certain way is fallacious. I’m not up on my fallacies as much as I would like to be, but it seems something akin to an ad hominem fallacy: As if women, merely by virtue of being women, should not be able to arrive at the same conclusions as to what policies are most beneficial, as men. As if your sex determines what policies you consider most wise and prudent.

    When you come down to it, this seems like a sexist idea through and through, since it apparently assumes that men and women reason differently for no reason than that they’re opposite sexes; or in other words, there is a female-type mind and there is a male-type mind, and they reason differently from each other, although all minds of each type reason more or less the same. Therefore persons of each sex may be generalized as thinking in a certain way.


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