In Monday’s Washington Post, the media’s pathetic attempt to blame everyone but Hillary Clinton for her election loss trudged on. Today’s paper highlighted a study by two professors at the University of Texas at Dallas, that surveyed what voters felt about women in the workplace, and whether or not their answers fit into a “traditionalist” or “progressive” mindset. The survey’s writers concluded that their six question survey found that Clinton was correct: “Negative attitudes toward women affects voters in 2016, and the impact of these attitudes influenced the outcome of the election.”
The study’s writers, professors Harold Clarke and Marianne Stewart, found that there was a mixture of what they deemed “traditionalist” and “progressive” attitudes towards the role of women in the workplace. Despite finding that there were more progressive attitudes than traditional ones, the fact that traditional attitudes towards gender still existed, they argued, meant that Clinton lost because of sexism. What?
The study’s writers, nor The Post, make no attempts to connect how these “attitudes” affect voters choices once they get in the voting booth.
In fact, they admit that their study did not make any reference to the 2016 election:
These questions are intended to capture whether survey respondents have “progressive” or “traditionalist” attitudes toward women’s roles and statuses, without any reference to Clinton, Donald Trump, political parties or the election.
Noticeably absent from their analysis? Clinton’s credibility issues with voters, her recent e-mail scandal, her reticence to campaign in counties she didn’t think were important enough to visit and the three-decade long political baggage she brought with her.
Even after admitting that because there were more “progressive” attitudes than “traditionalist” ones this probably helped Clinton more than it hurt her, they still concluded that Clinton lost because of “traditionalist” attitudes towards women:
In short, our analysis suggests that Hillary Clinton is correct: Attitudes toward women’s roles and statuses influenced presidential voting in 2016. If fewer voters had held traditionalist attitudes toward women’s roles and statuses, Clinton’s national popular vote total (already a plurality) would have increased. Even small shifts in these attitudes could have affected the outcomes in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio, where Clinton lost by an average of only 0.57 percent.
If this sounds like a weak argument, the study’s questions don’t help bolster their case either.
The survey is full of loaded questions that could be read in multiple ways such as “There is a lot of equality between men and women,” and “Women often earn lower salaries than men.” One might agree with the statement but disagree with the clear bias behind the question, thus affecting how the respondent answers the question.
Bottom line is, the media keeps clinging to this narrative that sexism helped Clinton lose and Russian “hacking” helped Clinton lose, despite there being no definitive proof of either of these things.