Women unite behind Democratic nominee
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I started reading the column with apprehension, convinced that Rich was going to buy into the narrative that angry white women who had supported Clinton are now turning to McCain in droves. Instead, we get this:
Now, thereâ€™s no question that men played a big role in Mrs. Clintonâ€™s narrow loss, starting with Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Mark Penn. And the evidence of misogyny in the press and elsewhere is irrefutable, even if it was not the determinative factor in the race. But the notion that all female Clinton supporters became â€œangry white womenâ€ once their candidate lost â€” to the hysterical extreme where even lifelong Democrats would desert their own party en masse â€” is itself a sexist stereotype. Thatâ€™s why some of the same talking heads and Republican operatives who gleefully insulted Mrs. Clinton are now peddling this fable on such flimsy anecdotal evidence.
The fictional scenario of mobs of crazed women defecting to Mr. McCain is just one subplot of the master narrative that has consumed our politics for months. The larger plot has it that the Democratic Party is hopelessly divided, and that only a ticket containing Mrs. Clinton in either slot could retain the loyalty of white male bowlers and other constituencies who tended to prefer her to Mr. Obama in the primaries.
This is reality turned upside down. Itâ€™s the Democrats who are largely united and the Republicans who are at one anotherâ€™s throats.
Women are supporting Obama in huge numbers â€” they support Obama over McCain by 13-19 points. Itâ€™s only white suburban women â€” a small slice of the female population â€” who are leaning toward McCain (and only by 6 points). But thatâ€™s what the news media is focused on, despite the fact that Obama has a 7-point lead among white women, and a lead twice that when you count all women.