Was Hillary's gender really the cause for her downfall?

Was Hillary's gender really the cause for her downfall?


Over at repptide, we’ve been taking the pulse of public opinion on a number of political issues.

So when Hillary Clinton started making claims that it was sexism that was to blame for her campaign’s second-place showing, we wanted to see if she was right or if there were other factors that could have explained her disappointing finish. The following questions and subsequent responses provide some interesting insight:

Question 1. Would you vote for a woman for President?

(Regardless of political affiliation, could you see yourself voting for a female presidential candidate?)

Out of 402 votes, 346 replied ‘yes’ – meaning 85.9% of respondents would vote for a candidate regardless of gender. Fair enough, maybe Hillary is onto something, given a slight bias against voting a woman into the top political office.

But what about Obama? Does his being African-American provide a similar handicap given some people’s desires to vote along certain racial preferences?

Question 2. Would you vote for a black man for President?

(Regardless of political affiliation, could you see yourself voting for a black presidential candidate?)

389 out of 434 members, 89.4%, said that they would vote for someone regardless of their race. A similar bias against Obama exists, as suspected, but one slightly less pronounced than voting on the basis of gender. So far, a slight comparative bias exists to support Clinton’s claim. But is a 3.5% (statistically insignificant) difference in biases really enough to explain the massive swing in voter preference to the Obama camp?

If it’s not race or gender that’s really setting the two candidates significantly apart, what could it be? The next two questions tell the tale:

Question 3. Do you think Barack Obama is honest?

Out of 1014 votes, 680 members, 67%, think Obama is honest. Not bad for a politician. To compare, George W. Bush clocks in at 22.8%, and McCain at 43.3%. What about Hillary?

Question 4. Do you think Hillary Rodham Clinton is honest?

Out of 1030 votes, only 268, or 26% think Hillary is honest. That puts the public perception of her honesty only slightly above George W. Bush. Think about that. There is a 40% chasm separating the perceived honesty of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It’s not sexism, it’s not racism, Hillary. It’s your honesty, or perceived lack of it.

  • http://politicalrealm.blogspot.com Andy

    I think you’re polling probably hit it right. A number of people simply don’t like/trust Clinton. They don’t like the politics that she represents. That dislike, coupled with the horrible campaign she ran (constant message changes, no longterm strategy, overlooking caucus contests) is the real reason she lost (add to that the good campaigning from Obama).

  • krabbie

    I agree with Andy for the most part. I believe that most polls ask questions that are arbitrary at best. I don’t think that the American public has a standard, but a curve line of judgement. Sort of like going to a supermarket and choosing a piece of meat or a kind of canned goods. They look the field over mentally and choose “Yes” or “No”.
    Then the pollsters statistically set up the game. I just remember what the prof put up on the black board on the first day of class. “Lies, Dam Lies, and Statistics”

  • mike mcEachran

    that’s it. even the way her campaign was organized (poorly) is indicative of her dishonesty. the “ready-on-day-one” sloggan was a big fat lie. she wasn’t even ready for life after super-tuesday, let alone the first day in office. i love her, but that clinton machine is a big phoney mess. we dodged a bullet.

  • kranky kritter

    Was this a scientific sample? If it wasn’t, then it doesn’t mean much of anything.

  • ChiChi

    Kranky Critter, nothing done for polling on Repptide is remotely close to scientific. It is a conduit site for radical liberal socialist, foul language, personal attacks and managed by a small “club”. All questions submitted for “voting” purposes on there are radically skewed with no paricular question or trap options of the two options allowed. The questions are submitted by less than a dozen “addict” members who monopolize the site and control who’s allowed to stay and who must be banned. Who really knows where the vote on there come from or if they are manipulated.