Some people vote on a candidate because they can identify with the person more so than voting solely based on the issues. We saw this back in 2000, when some voted for George W. Bush because he came across as a likable, average guy. We again saw this in 2008 for then Sen. Barack Obama because he is Black and for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman. The 2016 presidential primaries and general election will likely be no different.
With the primaries just around the corner, people are already assuming Hillary will win the woman’s vote. What shouldn’t surprise anyone, is Hillary also has the votes of certain parents — those who have daughters.
Back in 2008, when Hillary went head to head with Obama during the Democratic primaries, Hillary seemingly refused to use the gender card. However, after she lost the Democratic ticket she commented:
“Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it, and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.”
Fast forward to 2016, and after paving her own path, Hillary is now trying to shatter the highest glass ceiling once again. This time, she is proudly waiving the gender card, hoping to become the first female president of the United States.
By embracing her gender and proclaiming that parents can finally tell their daughters that they can some day be president, Hillary is making an emotional connection with parents who do not want their daughters limited by the archaic social norms about what women can and cannot do. As a mom to an 8-year-old girl, I can understand the emotions driven by this. It is rather exciting to raise my daughter in a time when she, too, can become president. (Thankfully, she currently has no desire to be the POTUS!)
According to the Washington Post, social science studies and recent surveys have shown that parents of daughters are more likely to support Hillary than parents of only sons. The studies also revealed that race does not play a factor as parents of these daughters come from all backgrounds.
The recent studies on parents voting for Hillary, however, appear to only be those voting in the Democratic primaries and not for the general election. Thus, Hillary’s gender might be:
“less of a factor in such a partisan election, where Americans who explicitly want to vote for (or against) a female candidate may have to cross party lines.”
Hillary’s gender will no doubt play a huge factor in the upcoming primaries. I am not certain, however, that the parents of daughters will alone help Hillary in her bid for the Democratic ticket. After all, Hillary must still contend with those who are voting on the issues and not simply voting for her because she is a woman.
Hillary also must still contend with Sen. Bernie Sanders. Now, I understand that there are arguments out there that Bernie cannot win considering his very left leanings. However, according to Western Illinois University (WIU), who has accurately predicted each president over the last 41 years, Bernie will not only win the Democratic ticket, but he is projected to be our next president. With the primaries right around the corner, we will soon know whether WIU was correct, or whether Hillary will instead be chosen.
Regardless of who wins and who you are voting for, the fact that women are competing at this level is a great win for parents of daughters. If Hillary wins the primary and/or the general election, we can confidently tell our daughters that one day they could be president. If Hillary loses, we can still explain to our daughters that Hillary paved the way for other women to do great things, since Hillary has reminded us that there are no limits to what women can do.
Featured image is a screenshot via the The De Moines Register.