THE PLANK FEBRUARY 14, 2008
One of the major stories out of the Potomac primaries was
the big margins Obama enjoyed among white
men, 56-43 over Hillary Clinton in Virginia,
for one example. And of course, Mark Penn famously declared
that 25 percent of Republican women would flip over to Hillary in a general
election. But as long as we're slicing and dicing
the electorate into manageable, Valentine's-Day-chocolate-sized pieces, I'll launch
a small theory of my own: single, heterosexual men are more likely Obama
supporters than ones in a relationship.
Keep in mind this evidence is purely anecdotal. But I've
personally observed a steady stream of Hill-raising women putting the proverbial moves on
their significant others, bringing them into Clinton's fold, under pain of...well, you know.
One Hillary supporter--who has, since his conversion, done
high-level work on the campaign itself--even told me this: "I was on the fence
between Clinton and Obama for a long time and there are a couple things that
swayed me. One was my girlfriend, who is a big Hillary supporter. When you have
dinner with someone every night they can work you over."
Now this osmotic, gender-based, under-the-bedsheets suasion
probably only works part of the time (cf. this NYT piece about vegan-omnivore love),
and even close families
don't necessarily vote the same way. But if Penn is right (!) could this shadow campaign mean coupled
Republican men are not far behind?