There’s a new Morning Consult poll of the Democratic primary race out today and it’s probably come to the attention of New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand that she’s not exactly burning up the charts. In fact, she managed to ring up one percent. (And they round up if you have more than 0.5.) She’s been stuck down in the basement virtually since the day she announced and hasn’t shown any signs of building momentum.
So what is it that’s keeping the “brave” candidate down? Not to worry. She’s got an explanation for it and she shared it with CNN recently. If you guessed “endemic misogyny,” give yourself a cookie. (Free Beacon)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) said she’s being underestimated in the crowded race for the 2020 Democratic nomination, blaming “gender bias” and the fact people are “generally biased against women.”
In a CNN profile about how Gillibrand is “living her best life” by having fun on the campaign trail, the low-polling senator gave a “hearty ‘yeah'” when asked if she’s not being taken seriously enough on the trail.
“I think it’s just gender bias. I think people are generally biased against women. I think also biased against young women,” she said. “There’s just bias and it’s real and it exists, but you have to overcome it.”
So the country is particularly biased against “young women” as well as just women in general. I’m not entirely sure where the cutoff is for being considered a “young woman” these days, but at 52, I’m not sure if she qualifies. Granted, she’s certainly not “old” and she’s younger than me and considerably younger than Biden or Sanders. But once you hit the half-century mark that ship has pretty much sailed.
How much weight should we be giving to the claim that she’s polling near zero because America won’t give women a chance? And mind you, this polling is being done among voters from her own party for the most part. So she’s basically saying that Democrats are largely a bunch of misogynists.
The fact is that two candidates came into this primary with massive, built-in advantages in terms of name recognition and a national fundraising and staffing network. They happen to be two elderly white men. (Biden and Sanders) They were always going to get out to an early lead. But at the top of the second tier in this morning’s poll, there are two women (Warren and Harris). Having ovaries hasn’t kept them out of the mix, though they still have a long way to go to catch up to the leaders. And Harris is only two years older than Gillibrand for whatever that’s worth.
If other women can manage to rack up 8% support, it’s hard to imagine some festering hatred of women keeping Gillibrand down. In reality, as soon as she formed her exploratory committee, her potential opponents and much of the press got busy defining her as a flip-flopper who used to hold views that made her look more like Sarah Palin than a liberal Democrat. That’s probably what strangled her candidacy before she could get her head above water.
On the plus side, the senator claims that she’s probably the candidate who is “having the most fun” out on the campaign trail. She should probably enjoy it while she can because I predict she’ll be gone after the Iowa straw poll this summer.