Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Political Sexism?


Geoffrey Skelley writes at FiveThirtyEight:

So what do we know about [Tulsi] Gabbard’s base? For one thing, it’s overwhelmingly male -- in The Economist’s national polling average, her support among men is in the mid-single digits, while her support among women is practically nonexistent. This trend is evident in other recent polls as well. Last week’s Quinnipiac poll of Iowa found Gabbard at 5 percent among men and 1 percent among women, and Quinnipiac’s new survey of New Hampshire found her at 9 percent among men and 4 percent among women. A late October national poll from Suffolk University found her at 6 percent among men and 2 percent among women.

While all the numbers are fairly low, it looks like men are anywhere from twice as likely to five or six times as likely to support a woman -- a particular woman, anyway -- as women are. Even with small samples, the divide seems stark and has occurred repeatedly across polls, so it's presumably real.

My question: Is the sexism at the high end of that divide, or the low end, or both? That is:


  • Are men supporting Gabbard because of her sex -- in particular, perhaps because she's a reasonably physically attractive woman by conventional standards, and they like to look at her -- rather than for policy reasons?
  • Are women not supporting Gabbard because of her sex rather than for policy reasons? If so, does her physical attractiveness by conventional standards have anything to do with it (e.g. jealousy, or assuming an attractive woman is just eye candy instead of a serious candidate)?
Or could it be something else -- for example, contra the conventional wisdom, perhaps women are more supportive of US military adventurism than men are and don't like Gabbard's anti-war positioning?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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