Monday, October 04, 2010

Running on his physical appearance

There seems to be a meme running through the Internet's series of tubes today. Let's begin with Peggy Fikac:

No, really, women aren’t any more shallow than men.

When a poll by a group of newspapers including the San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle showed that about 50 percent of women likely to vote favor GOP Gov. Rick Perry -- compared to 40 percent for Democratic challenger Bill White -- some called it a testament to Perry's looks.

Among them was the pro-Perry blog "Rick versus Kay" which posted this (tongue-in-cheek?) item: "If you want to know the real reason Rick will win women, it is the same reason Obama won so many women ..... or why Clinton won so many women ..... women don't want to have to look at Bill White's gollum-looking mug for four years whereas Rick is who they wish their husbands looked like at age 60."

I know someone might be laughing - and I'm not picking on Rick versus Kay. But let's face it, it's a bit annoying.

It might be annoying -- even pathetic, I submit -- if it were true, Peggy. And who are these "some"? But before we get to that let's note that Corrie MacLaggan at the Austin Statesman dutifully followed suit...

"Perry is doing extraordinarily well among women," said Mickey Blum, whose firm, Blum & Weprin Associates Inc., conducted a poll on behalf of the American-Statesman and other newspapers. She said that in years of polling in Texas, this might be the first time she's seen more women than men backing the Republican.

The poll found that 50 percent of women who are likely voters prefer Perry, while 40 percent prefer White. Overall, 46 percent of likely voters picked Perry and 39 percent liked White, the poll said.

Yes, this might indicate some trouble for the Democratic nominee if it were accurate. However, as Phillip Martin has demonstrated, it is a false assumption that women prefer Perry over White. The newspapers reference a single poll, the one they commissioned. The average of ten polls since May indicates White has a plurality of support with Texas women voters. One of those is the mighty Rassmublican poll from 9/22 -- two weeks ago -- showing a 51-39 split in favor of the Democrat.

But those facts didn't stop Fikac or MacLaggan, and they sure as hell didn't slow down Big Fat Jolly in his Big Fat Whine about last night's gubernatorial debate (I warned you he was going to be cranky). No excerpt; let's give him the traffic.

In BJ's defense, he attended the event. After a long day of activism, I was too worn out to do so and instead watched the online stream. Neil Aquino also made it and had a much more reasoned take, including this:

All in all, the debate served a useful public purpose. I urge folks to consider all the candidates.

Many Texas voters will likely follow that advice (whether they read Neil's blog or don't). Many of those Texans will be women.  And after ten too-long years, Texas will have a new governor on Tuesday evening, November 2. Thank goodness.

Update: Rachel gets mean.

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