How many husbands control the votes of their wives? We'll never know

I started asking around and found that a lot of get-out-the-vote ground troops had witnessed various forms of such bullying, intimidation and silencing in relation to this election and in earlier elections, too.

Wives asked their husbands directly who the two were going to vote for. Many seemed cowed. Husbands answered the door and refused to let the wife speak to canvassers, or talked or shouted over her, or insisted that she was going to vote Republican even though she was a registered Democrat, or insisted there were no Democrats in the house because she had never told him she was one. A friend in Iowa told me, “I asked the woman who answered the door if she had a plan for voting, and a man appeared, behind her, and said, quite brusquely, ‘I’m a Republican’. Before I could reply, he shut the door in my face.”

Another friend reported, “A woman I texted in Michigan told me, ‘I am not allowed’ to vote for the candidate.” Many canvassers told me those experiences were common. I did not find stories of the reverse phenomenon – wives dominating their husbands, or husbands pushing their wives to vote for the Democratic candidate. Of course I talked to people canvassing for Democrats, and domestic violence takes place across the political spectrum, but the bullying seemed to be mostly either to oblige the wife to lean to the right or to not participate at all.