Blame Men (For The Republican Surge)

Several polls of key races this fall show that not only are more men voting Republican, they're also way more energized. Where are the ladies? Besides on a few Republican ballots, that is.

Over at Politico, Ben Smith crunched the numbers and talked to some pollsters who agree that they've never seen a gender gap this wide. And not only do men and women diverge on the issues, women are also less likely to turn out, it seems:

"Even though women are still more likely to vote Democratic, the poll suggests that they may stay home this year, giving more of the decision making to men by default," The New York Times wrote in the analysis of its own survey last week. The Times theorized that men's "anger may be more motivating than the sense of hopelessness expressed by women."

Hopelessness may be the key word. While men are said to be agitated by budget issues, women are apparently unmoved, even though "women's issues" are on the table:

Women's groups and Democratic candidates have struggled to put abortion rights and economic stability front and center, even as Republicans have nominated an unusual number of candidates who take hard lines on issues traditionally of concern to women, like opposing abortion even in the cases of rape and incest.

Over at PoliticsDaily, Matt Lewis wonders if this is due to the fact that so many more men have lost their jobs. "Because of traditional gender roles, it seems apparent that losing a job often negatively impacts a man's very identity," he wrote.

One race in which men and women's enthusiasm and stances vary widely is for New York governor: there was a "15-point gap in Paladino's support from women," compared to that of men. The past few days have brought several profiles and interviews meant to flesh out this previously obscure candidate. And maybe the interview with Paladino's wife was intended by his campaign to endear him to women voters.

Except for the part where she talked candidly about her husband told her he had a 10-year-old daughter with another women, hours after their own son died, and that everyone knew but her.

And then there's the heartwarming story about how they met:

He met his future wife, Mary Catherine Hannon, at one of the events he planned, though their first meeting did not go well. He made a joke about her uncle back in Buffalo, whose indictment was all over the newspapers, and she threw a beer at him. "It wasn't nice," he said of his remark, calling it an early, if unheeded, lesson about keeping "my big mouth shut."

Well, they did manage to endear her to us.

Behind GOP Surge: Male Voters [Politico]
Gender Gap Explained: Why More Men Will Be Voting This Year [Politics Daily]
Paladino's Wife Tells Of Son's Loss, Hubby's Affair & 'Get Over It' Policy [NYP]
Early Lessons Forged Paladino's Combative Style [NYT]