About the South Carolina Women’s Vote

Talk about your mixed messages being sent.

Former Congressman, Speaker of the House and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich won the female vote in South Carolina, according to exit polls and despite reports to the contrary, just the day before, of a significant gender gap that should have helped former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney, if it really existed — which it appears it did not.

And why not? Shouldn’t Romney had had the women in his column? I wasn’t the only one thinking it.

For one thing, former first lady of South Carolina, Jenny Sanford, who knows a few things about politicians who cheat on their wives with mistresses with whom they get together after a divorce, spoke out very pointedly against Gingrich’s character just before the primary on MSNBC’s Hardball. How could that not have carried some weight with conservative female voters in South Carolina?

Then, the governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley — endorsed and supported in her 2010 race by both Jenny Sanford and Sarah Palin — in turn endorsed Romney over a month ago. Note though that one of the most popular S.C. blogs indicates that Haley’s approval might have been more of a hindrance than a help.

As for Palin, she and the former first dude, Todd Palin, have indicated — directly or indirectly — support for Gingrich recently. So women who watch women are getting a decidedly mixed message.

Personally, I don’t get it either in regard to the women, but I’d like to see the gender breakdown, if we can, in that voter turnout: Who exactly turned out within the record numbers? Could be grasping at straws, at but maybe BlogHer Red Dirt Kelly was on to something when she wrote, “Mitt Romney’s Debate Conduct Makes Me Feel Icky.” I feel that way when I hear Gingrich, but I don’t really count in these things since I’m totally not the audience the conservatives are trying to attract.

You can read my full wrap-up post here with a lot of other links of interest here.

         

Share This Post On

12 Comments

  1. Could simply be the women in SC are used to seeing men like Gingrich (who is from the South) and are not used to seeing men like Romney, who could appear alien. You go with what’s familiar in your world.

  2. StockBoyLA… that could be right. Romney is quite different from Gingrich.

    But I also offer that maybe women are tired of the political system owned by the “good ‘ol boys” and find Romney’s answers to tax issues and other questions concerning his past positions unacceptible and see in it something he is trying to hide while Newt is a known quantity. If it is not in Newts history that everyone has already examined, he does not keep it a secret for long. He tells it like it is, no matter who it offends.

    Call it womens intuition or maybe it is women learning to identify liars from being a mom and making the kids tell the truth, but women are more acceptible of ones past if they are truthful and don’t try to hide stuff.

    Men will try to hide stuff until they have been caught in a bold faced lie and then lie to try to explain the lie.

    Example..Eric Holder saying he knew nothing about fast and furious and then tried explaining when he did not know about it.

  3. LESSON Learned from SC: Do not underestimate the folly of voters

    - how easily they are moved by shrewd 30seconds/30minute ads and 30minute debate performances. SuperPacs seem to have changed outcome results by 10% to 20% as seen in Iowa against Newt Ginrich and in South Carolina in favor of Newt Ginrich.
    - how easily they can forget former convictions: The Tea party was against the Washington establishment. Mr Washington, Newt Gingrich, won. Christian conservatives focus on family values and Mr Ginrich wins although he has the wildest past in this respect .
    - how difficult it is for them to follow wisdom. Anger is not a good advisor for reasonable decicions.

    Watch: German preacher’s thoughts on 2012
    youtube

  4. I think what all three of you have written has merit. Personally, I just don’t get it but intellectually, I understand how it can happen/is happening.

  5. “…I’m totally not the audience the conservatives are trying to attract.”

    Something to be enormously grateful for.

  6. Thanks for the smile, Zephyr. But I have, as a matter of course, always taken the competition in one party as seriously as in the other. And again, it’s because of the knowledge that I’ll have to live under the government of whomever we collectively select, whether it’s a questionable outcome like 2000 or a clear decision like in 2008. I always thought it was so amazing how legislators for the most part accepted when they were not in the majority and worked within that reality to still keep the country on its feet and moving forward. That sentiment, that desire, is almost extinct, if you look at the machinations of the last one to two years.

    That is really, really scary and upsetting, like, to my core.

  7. Point taken Jill. We’ve been saddled with bad leaders before and it will happen again so one needs to pay attention. And yes, those who continue trying to work for positive outcomes (as opposed to blind obstruction) while in the minority seem more and more rare in this era of below average, ultra-tribal lawmakers.

    RP, I expect you’re right, there will be many women willing to overlook Newt’s past (perhaps moreso in the south) but I wouldn’t look for this to be a larger trend. Hypocrisy and scummy behavior can only be spun (or forgiven) so far. Even the religious right must have mixed feelings about Newt’s ascension.

  8. The fickle finger of fate points to Newt this time. That’s the best I can explain it.

    I thought South Carolina was supposed to be a conservative values, social conservative, ultra evangelical, walk the straight and narrow, bow tie and argyle sweater vest Republican Heaven?

    Newt’s three wives and a request for an “Open Marriage” don’t sound like anything I would value, much less for a state full of Tucker Carlson wannabes. Makes no sense.

  9. Jill- I agree that we should never write off anyone- because as Romney learned last week there is no such thing as a sure thing. So while its tempting to disregard Gingrich’s win as a joke — the cost of ignoring it is too high.

    I read on another site some of the reasons that were listed in the exit polls, and Romney’s Mormon religion was either the top or second reason for many voters. Family values may be important, but apparently many in S.C consider religion more important, even if the candidate is currently on his third religion as well as his third wife.

    Plus, I think a lot of Southerner’s still mistrust candidates from the Northeast.

  10. Too bad more people aren’t as motivated by actual character and record as they are by which religious team someone is on – or whether they’re even on one for that matter. Humans…

  11. Lets face it, we are all shocked Newt won SC. Really, thats all it takes to shoot to the top even if your have a record like Gingrich’s? A spate of negative ads right before the vote to misdirect voters ire? Pretty depressing.

  12. There is a real message to be learned by this outcome. I am not certain as to what it may be, but I have a nasty hunch. I hope I am wrong, but it may well be that PAC’s influence will decide outcomes far more than reality.

    I have watched in horror as the political discourse became less and less about fact. I expected that politicians would spin events to their own ideology. However, as a politician once said, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” That appears to no longer be the case.

    Although both parties are willing to stretch the truth, only one party routinely dismisses the truth as biased. Orwell warned us that politicians would abuse language to the point where what was said would no longer carry meaning. That appears to be coming true.

    Patriot Act: takes away our freedoms, liberties and privacy
    Forest Preservation Act: allows logging on Federal lands
    Clean Air Act: guts the EPA’s ability to stop pollution
    No Child Left Behind: leaves lots of children in the dust due to lack of funding

    Claim by neocons and conservatives: You don’t criticize a president during a war. No? Then when should we question his actions?

    Slam Dunk: no WMD’s found

    No question that Iraq is linked to 9/11 (Dick Cheney). Commission to discover the truth finds no LINK to Iraq whatsoever

    So and so is too moderate (definition of moderate is not being at the extremes. How can one be extreme about not being extreme?)

    The list can go on if anyone likes. Maybe I should submit an article to TMV?

Submit a Comment