Wednesday, September 10, 2008

lies, damn lies and statistics

Numbers don't lie. Unless they do.

Polls are showing a sudden surge of support for McCain-Palin among white women. I'm feeling a little bit of backlash about the way those numbers are being used. I smell some sexism going on here -- not necessarily in the way Palin is being portrayed by the media -- but more in the way these polls are being spun by pundits and cynics.

I'm a white woman. I know lots of white women. Some of my best friends are white women. I don't know one of them who would kick her political ideals to the curb simply because a candidate shows up in a skirt.

I do know two who were impressed and intrigued by Hillary early in the primary season, but as lifelong Republicans, they have always sworn their allegiance to McCain. As for the PUMAs, yes, they make for sexy interviews, but clearly we are talking outliers here.

So my question is, who ARE these white women rushing to support the Republican ticket? Independents? Undecideds? Were they there all along and are just now making their numbers known? Clearly, we need to drill down the data to find out more about these women -- rather than to use the numbers to imply that white women voters on the whole are fickle, foolish and more interested in gender than issues.

As i said, backlash: demeaning, insulting, marginalizing.

Speaking of which, I heard a new term today to refer to a certain segment of the vote: "K-mart moms". Really?! Enough. bk


Lotta K said...

It seems like your link to the poll doesn;t work, but I did a little googling and found it, I think. In addition to gaining among 'white women', McCain is also gaining in the 'Midwest', the poll states.

That probably means he is gaining among women in the Midwest. You'd have to wonder where those women were before. With Obama? Unaffiliated?

I understand your frustration. 'White women' is incredibly blunt. And I don't mean offensive, I mean it doesn;t say much.

Andrea said...

I feel like I've run into this exact topic almost daily since McCain announced Palin as his running mate. It's fascinating to me that such sweeping generalizations are being made about who supports Palin. Lotta, as you point out, I agree that'white women" is incredibly blunt.

One of my apathetic friends (when it comes to politics at least!) forwarded me this blog:

I found this list of women's reactions to the Palin nomination fascinating. Regardless of who you support, its incredibly interesting. and it says a lot about the voices of the many that are out there.