Hillary Clinton suggested last week that husbands pressured their wives to vote for her opponent in the 2016 election. She then said that women "disrespected themselves" by voting for Donald Trump. Critics snickered at her latest excuse, but an editor at The Guardian said not so fast - Clinton may be on to something.
“Conventional wisdom says women will show solidarity at the polls," Lucia Graves writes. "But new research shows that for white women, having a husband trumped the sisterhood.”
People might scoff at the idea that women vote based on what husbands and fathers tell them to do. And tens of millions of dollars in political messaging has been spent based on the assumption that women will vote collectively on equal pay, abortion, and other salient issues regarding women’s autonomy.
But social science backs up Clinton’s anecdotal hunch. “We think she was right in her analysis about women getting pressure from men in their lives, specifically [straight] white women,” said Kelsy Kretschmer, an assistant professor at Oregon State University and a co-author of a recent study examining women’s voting patterns.
In her piece, Graves heavily cites a study published in April from Oregon State University Professor Kelsy Kretschmer, which was based on a hypothesis from a 2012 study published in Political Research Quarterly that asked 2,000 women about their voting patterns.
Single women vote on behalf of other women, while married women vote with their husbands and families in mind, according to the research.
“Just being married” makes women more conservative, Kretschmer noted.
One woman, for instance, admitted to voting for Trump because she believed he would have her husband's economic interests at heart because he works in the coal industry. That is just one “heartbreaking” example of why married women chose not to vote for Clinton, according to Kretschmer.
So, don’t blame Clinton for losing so many female votes, The Guardian concludes.
I hate to repeat myself, but women have a mind of their own. That doesn’t change once their boyfriends put a ring on it. Clinton won just 54 percent of the women vote. Sorry, but that was not all due to marital pressure.
(Maybe she is just not a very good messenger.)