Ken Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial bid fell apart due in part to his long record of policing the bedroom activities of Virginia’s citizens and restricting access to contraception and abortion at every opportunity. Those positions contributed to his nine-point loss with female voters in Tuesday’s election. But a closer look at the that loss shows that Cuccinelli is actually relatively popular with married women. He’s just really, really, really unpopular with single women.
According to CNN exit polls, married women voted for Cuccinelli over Terry McAuliffe by nine points, and twice as many of them voted as did unmarried women. Nevertheless, Cuccinelli ultimately lost the female vote, and the election, because single women went for McAuliffe over him by 43 (!) points. That was more than enough to make up for the fact that married women, and married people in general, outnumbered single voters and supported Cuccinelli by a significant margin.
So, single women rejected Cuccinelli, the embodiment of the modern conservative movement, by blowout proportions. Some sensible folks have concluded from this that the GOP might want to consider replacing its Middle Ages-era approach toward women with something a bit more inclusive, but as always, social conservatives are refusing to allow the patriarchal aspects of the party’s ideology to sustain one iota of damage, and have thus concluded that Cuccinelli simply didn’t get enough married people to vote.
“Had a higher percentage of Virginia’s married people, especially married women, turned out to vote, Cuccinelli could have won,” writes Terence P. Jeffrey at CNS News.
In other words, no need to actually convince more people to support your policies, or — heaven forbid — modify your policies to win people over. Just get those true believers out to the polls! This is a great idea for a party that wants to both alienate the opposition as much as possible and, because marriage rates are falling drastically, ensure that its own voting coalition shrinks.
Here’s another idea: Why doesn’t the GOP just send judges and pastors out into the field to forcibly marry single people in Virginia? This would create more married voters, fewer single voters, and as an added bonus, wouldn’t run the slightest bit afoul of the GOP’s general ideological vision of what role government ought to play in the household. And it would create jobs, too, for all of the operatives doing the marrying. It's a win-win-win.