A Politico/ Morning Consult poll confirms what we were all assuming: America is already ready to turf out Donald Trump at the next election.
The good news? “Generic Unnamed Democrat Candidate” is likely to beat Trump in 2020, if things continue down their current trajectory.
The bad news? Elizabeth Warren is not.
43 percent of those polled said they would vote for the as-of-yet undetermined Democrat at the next election, while only 35 percent say they would vote to reelect Donald Trump. But when the question was changed to a hypothetical choice between Senator Elizabeth Warren and President Donald Trump, the numbers were reversed: 42 percent said they would choose Trump over Warren, while only 36 percent would pick Liz over Don.
Why is it that people are willing to vote for a nameless, faceless, platformless figure over a real, living, breathing (not to mention passionate and persistent) senator?
Politico attributes this discrepancy to Warren being to the left of your average Democrat, writing, “Democrats could be in trouble — and Trump could triumph — if they continue their lurch to the left.” But no mention is made on the other obvious factor that sets Warren apart: her gender. It seems not having a face is a safer bet in soliciting votes than having a woman’s face.
With Sanders supporters still belligerent in their claims that “Bernie Would’ve Won” and accusing Clinton of not being left enough, it’s frustrating to read Warren’s unpopularity as a candidate being attributed to being too progressive. Huh. It's almost as if women can't win no matter what they do. Be aggressive, but not too aggressive. Be pretty, but not too pretty. Be as left wing as Bernie, but don't be as left wing as Bernie.
No one can prove how much of a role sexism played in Clinton’s loss to Trump. There are countless articles online arguing it did or it didn’t. But the seeming inability of Senator Warren— a Democrat woman about as far from Clinton as one could get— to beat Trump while symbolic “Democrat” romps it in would seem to lend credence to the view that gender still presents a major obstacle to a woman’s chances of political success.
Clinton’s loss didn’t just mean there would be no female president in 2017. It really threw into doubt how ready the U.S was to elect a woman commander-in-chief at all, and whether the left should be brave enough to try again any time soon. It felt like that goal had been pushed back another 20 years. But you would think that a year like 2020, in which the Democrats have a supposedly easy run at whatever is left of the White House, at a time in which they will be running against an incumbent with one of the lowest approval ratings for a new president in recent history, would be one of the safest times to try again.
As the new poll would seem to indicate, it will be a long time before any woman— a Hillary, an Elizabeth, a Kirstin, or a Kamala— has an “easy run” at the presidency.
The sooner we acknowledge it, the sooner we can start to fix it.
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