MSNBC panel confused: Why are so many tea partiers women?

posted at 5:57 pm on October 18, 2010 by Allahpundit

Via the Daily Caller, which has fun snarking on the panel’s mystification here and in kicking around psychological theories about how a movement of “outsiders” might have special appeal to women, how women might be trending fiscally conservative because they tend to control the family checkbook, etc. Here’s something similar from yesterday’s story in the New York Post about the rise of Republican women:

Analysts and politicians cited the Palin effect, the economy and anti-incumbent rage as factors fueling the rise of the Republican woman. But a few also think that the destabilizing impact of the Tea Party — the outsiders barreling their way through backroom politics — has had a ripple effect.

“It goes to that general sense of frustration,” says Kristin Soltis, director of policy research at The Winston Group, a DC-based polling and strategy company. “If women have disproportionately not been part of the status quo, it makes sense that women would enter these races.” Soltis also cites the lessening power of “the Republican old boys’ club, which has been part of a previous era,” and the institutionalized outreach within the party to cultivate female contenders.

I can’t tell from the clip whether they’re amazed that there are any women in the tea party — remember, assumptions about how women should behave politically are nothing new to morning TV — or whether they believe that the number of women involved in the movement is unusually high. If the latter, I’m not so sure they’re right. Quinnipiac famously reported in March that 55 percent of tea partiers are women, but later polls by Gallup and the NYT both had tea-party samples that were 55 and 59 percent male, respectively. I don’t know how to explain that discrepancy except that there are many ways to define “tea partier,” e.g. someone who sympathizes with the movement’s goals, someone who’s been to a rally, someone who identifies the brand favorably, and so forth, so maybe there are gender imbalances depending upon how that definition shifts.

It’s true of course that many prominent women pols identify with the tea party, starting with Palin and on through Angle and O’Donnell and Linda McMahon, but the other side of asking why they’re so prominent is asking why they poll so horribly with women voters. Phyllis Chesler tried some pop psychology of her own to explain that, but I think it has less to do with envy or anything similarly petty than with the possibility that women generally are less fiscally conservative than men. That’s why they tilt Democratic in election after election, and that’s why I can’t quite buy the “family checkbook” theory to explain any special appeal the tea party might hold for them. Isn’t the answer here simply that — gasp — there are a lot of women out there (albeit perhaps not a majority) who are intellectually conservative and are simply responding to a very conservative movement?

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LOLOL People start making sense, liberals are confused.

evergreen on October 18, 2010 at 9:02 PM

I’ve never understood the bra burners. It is a great relieve to finally have a cause like the Tea Party to support and rally with others who feel the same way.

I also think many Tea Party women are pro-life.

HellCat on October 18, 2010 at 9:03 PM

I have it on good authority that Democrats are the zombies.

MSimon on October 18, 2010 at 9:05 PM

The Tea Party is comprised of married women. They have responsibilities to care for others. They see their children’s futures being endangered by liberal recklessness.


Many single women are the nettlesome “moral busybodies” that C.S. Lewis warns about, they will hound you to the ends of the earth “for your own good”, and spend your money doing it. They don’t have a family to take care of, so they focus their energies on other seemingly good, but actually destructive pursuits.

Obama himself has blamed single women in part for his rise to power.

scotash on October 18, 2010 at 11:47 PM

Uh, women are people.

Here’s a list of things I did NOT think about when deciding to attend my first tea party: gender, race, ethnic heritage, color, age group, socioeconomic status, educational background, number of children, sexual preference, global warming and carbon footprints, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

What I DID think about: Damn, my country is going down the cr*pper, the GOP isn’t doing jack, I dunno what a tea party can do, but I’m going!

What does being female have to do with that?

jodetoad on October 19, 2010 at 1:31 AM

I think its pretty simple why women are now attracted to fiscally conservative ideals. It is two fold:

1) The current recession has hit men disproportionately, and so more women than ever are the main bread winner of the family making them more focused on personal/family finances and, as an extension, politically they are more concerned about the state of the economy/finance of the country.

2) There are nearly 50% more women graduating from college than men, so there are now a higher percentage of females in the new unemployed pool of fresh graduates. So naturally, they are concerned about the state of the economy and job creation, or lack there of.

Just my two bits.

JeffVader on October 19, 2010 at 2:00 AM

Here is a study of the effect of women’s suffrage on the scope and size of government.

The only thing you can conclude if you care about freedom and limited government is that female suffrage has been an unmitigated disaster.

Bill C on October 19, 2010 at 2:39 AM

Many single women are the nettlesome “moral busybodies” that C.S. Lewis warns about, they will hound you to the ends of the earth “for your own good”, and spend your money doing it. They don’t have a family to take care of, so they focus their energies on other seemingly good, but actually destructive pursuits.

Obama himself has blamed single women in part for his rise to power.

scotash on October 18, 2010 at 11:47 PM

I think people vote their self interest and this explains the fact that women have tilted towards taking from men via higher taxes and giving to themselves. Single women do not have men working for them so they need the gov’t to help them…survive.

There is a reason why so many men have dropped out of the workforce, why being a slacker living at your parent’s home is more attractive than marriage.

Bill C on October 19, 2010 at 2:44 AM

The problem with women of the left is that they are simply identical to men of the left aside from dress..

JIMV on October 18, 2010 at 6:58 PM

You sure ’bout that?

RickZ on October 19, 2010 at 6:28 AM

Bill C:

Women’s suffrage was also almost completely responsible for one of the larger U.S. disasters, namely prohibition. Everyone recognized this even at the time.

Henry Bowman on October 19, 2010 at 7:46 AM

Liberals have had great fun lately making hay out of Sarah Palin’s “Mama Grizzly” comment. But, they didn’t bother to try to understand what it meant. They never do.

These people are messing with our babies. They’re financing their political goals on the backs of our children. They’re limiting our young people’s future economic freedom as well as their freedom of expression, their ability to pursue their own happiness. And for the first time in our nation’s history, we no longer believe that our children will enjoy more success than we did.

Don’t mess with Mama. When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody gonna be happy.

Murf76 on October 19, 2010 at 8:30 AM

It’s been observed for some time that married women tend conservative and Republican, and single women tend liberal and Democrat.

Or it maybe that liberal women tend to remain single while conservative women tend to marry and have families.

LarryD on October 19, 2010 at 9:43 AM

As usual, Mika Brzezinski does her boffo imitation of a thoroughly confused political naif . . . sporting that “please, nobody asks me a direct question!” look on her face.

Oh wait . . . it’s not an imitation?

Trochilus on October 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM

I guess they will never learn, because they ignore the views of the American people or deceive themselves and brand the Tea partier of being a nut or a racist. Fortunately this election will help clue them in just a little bit.

SGinNC on October 19, 2010 at 3:11 PM