Can you believe there was a presidential election that countered prevailing political theories? Good thing that doesn’t happen anymore.
In 1916, there were 12 states where women could vote for president. J.S. Eichelberger analyzed the vote in those states and determined that relative to their share of the voting-eligible population, eligible women voted at a rate 20 to 30 percent lower than eligible men, for a male-female ratio in the states with suffrage of 1.73 to 1. Numbers are just numbers, but it was the stunningly misogynistic writing that truly bears note a century later:
“The woman’s vote is a duplicate vote; a miniature, an echo, of man’s vote, possessing no independent political power, and unable to rewards its friends or punish its foes.
While it cannot be used as a level to effect to ’emancipation of woman,’ it may be used as a tool for the enslavement of men by other men…
In a count at the polls the women’s vote cannot do anything independent of the men’s vote; its political effect appears only when dominated by a group of men who can get a larger proportion of their women to vote than any other group of men can.”
Today, the reverse is true. Women voted at higher rates than men in every presidential election since 1980. In 2012, those numbers were 63.7 percent of women compared to 59.8 percent of men. (2016 data is still preliminary at this point.) And the vote of women was not merely “an echo” of men’s vote: with women preferring Hillary Clinton by 12 points and men preferring Donald Trump by an equal 12 points, the 24-point gap between women’s and men’s voting preference was the largest since polls began measuring in 1972:
Analysis of Woman Vote in 1916 Upsets Theories: Figures of Last Election Prove That It Possesses No Independent Political Power and Was Merely an Echo of Man’s Vote (PDF)
From Sunday, January 21, 1917
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