Quick Hit: Thank black voters, not the “gender gap”

McAulifffeZerlina has a great piece at the Nation about why we should credit black voters, not a monolithic women’s block, for Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s victory over right-winger Ken Cuccinelli for the Virginia governorship. She writes:

When Terry McAuliffe defeated Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia gubernatorial race Tuesday night, women were credited with handing him the victory. Pundits quickly declared that Cuccinelli’s extreme views on abortion—with the ultimate goal to “make abortion disappear in America”—were key to losing the female vote. A closer look at the numbers, however, reveals a different story.

Cuccinelli lost among women voters, by a margin of 51 percent to 42 percent. But he won a majority of votes among white women—54 percent—while 91 percent of black women voted for McAuliffe. A strong majority of unmarried women broke for McAuliffe, 67 percent. These facts have been obscured by the widespread claim that the “gender gap” fueled McAuliffe’s victory—and that candidates’ stances on abortion and birth control are what swing the “women’s vote.” As the Virginia election results show, if it were up to white women, the anti-choice candidate would have prevailed. If any voting block determined the outcome of the race, it was black women.

Read the whole article here.
Alexandra

Alexandra Brodsky reads everything Zerlina writes.

Washington, DC

Alexandra Brodsky was a senior editor at Feministing.com. During her four years at the site, she wrote about gender violence, reproductive justice, and education equity and ran the site's book review column. She is now a Skadden Fellow at the National Women's Law Center and also serves as the Board Chair of Know Your IX, a national student-led movement to end gender violence, which she co-founded and previously co-directed. Alexandra has written for publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Nation, and she is the co-editor of The Feminist Utopia Project: 57 Visions of a Wildly Better Future. She has spoken about violence against women and reproductive justice at campuses across the country and on MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, ESPN, and NPR.

Alexandra Brodsky was a senior editor at Feministing.com.

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