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.

New Haven, CT

Alexandra Brodsky is an editor at Feministing.com, student at Yale Law School, and founding co-director of Know Your IX, a national legal education campaign against campus gender-based violence. Alexandra has written for publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Nation, and she has spoken about violence against women and reproductive justice on MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NPR. Through Know Your IX, she has organized with students across the country to build campuses free from discrimination and violence, developed federal policy on Title IX enforcement, and has testified at the Senate. At Yale Law, Alexandra focuses on antidiscrimination law and is a member of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic. Alexandra is committed to developing and strengthening responses to gender-based violence outside the criminal justice system through writing, organizing, and the law. Keep an eye out for The Feminist Utopia Project, co-edited by Alexandra and forthcoming from the Feminist Press (2015).

Alexandra Brodsky is an editor at Feministing.com, student at Yale Law School, and founding co-director of Know Your IX.

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