Tags: clinton | trump | polls | gender

Polls: Men for Trump, Women for Hillary

Polls: Men for Trump, Women for Hillary

This combination of pictures created on October 09, 2016, shows Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri on October 9, 2016. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

By Monday, 17 October 2016 12:37 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Some tens of millions of heterosexual American men who will have voted for Mr. Trump will come home to their womenfolk on Election Day and have some uncomfortable options.

Recent polls, after all, show a double digit gender gap when it comes to support for the presidential candidacies of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. A plurality of men support him; a plurality of women support her. If just men voted, we’d have President Trump; if just women voted, we’d have President Hillary Clinton — at least according to the polls.

That translates into some potentially serious challenges for what the Constitution calls “domestic tranquility.” That was not precisely what the Founders meant when they used that term, but even so, it applies.

We do have a secret ballot in this country. So men can choose not to disclose their vote, leaving their romantic partners to assume the worst, or, in the best case, to assume the best.

Another option is that the men can say, truthfully, that they voted for Mr. Trump. That risks provoking the wrath of a wife or girlfriend who thinks the Republican nominee is a racist, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, tax-dodging, unfaithful, lecherous, predatory, protectionist pawn of Putin, a grave threat to the republic, or worse — “an emetic,” in the memorable phrase of John Podhoretz.

Or the men who voted for Mr. Trump can lie and pretend to have voted for Hillary Clinton. It is to this last group, the liars, that this column is primarily addressed.

Let me be clear: I am not recommending or endorsing telling anything other than the 100 percent truth. This is a politics and policy column, not a marital or relationship advice column.

But suppose that a man’s belief in the institution of marriage, or in his own or his partner’s marital happiness or personal domestic tranquility, requires a romantic partner who thinks he voted for Clinton. Suppose, too, that this same man’s political principles and his patriotism require a vote for Mr. Trump. How can a man sound believable while claiming, falsely, to have voted for Secretary Clinton? It may seem like an arcane challenge, but it is one that will face more than a few American men on Election Day. Hence this menu of possible talking points for men trying to sound like they aren’t lying while telling someone why they voted for Secretary Clinton.

One plausible direction for an American man to go in is foreign policy hawk. “Trump lost me with his opposition to the Iraq War. At least Hillary voted for it,” a man might say. This might generate from a spouse some sputtering about how, according to some “fact checkers” in the press, Mr. Trump didn’t actually oppose the Iraq War publicly at the time. But in any event, the man has succeeded in changing the subject away from his own vote.

A variation on this theme is the “rebels” issue. “Trump lost me because I don’t think he would have supported the Contras against the Communists in Nicaragua.”

“Huh?” responds the puzzled wife or girlfriend.

“Yeah, that statement in the second debate, where Trump said, ‘You know, every time we take rebels, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else, we're arming people. And you know what happens? They end up being worse than the people.’ It makes me think he would have opposed the Contras.”

Again, the man has managed to change the subject away from his own vote and instead onto Oliver North, John Poindexter, and various other people who, while they are minor celebrities of the 1980s, are not Donald Trump.

Then there’s the option of muttering something about guacamole and the upcoming Super Bowl. “I like my guacamole on Super Bowl Sunday,” this Trump voter can say, explaining that Mr. Trump’s opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement jeopardizes access to all those delicious Mexican avocados.

Or the “vote for Hillary” can be explained with reference to “fracking.” The man might explain that Hillary won his vote with her 2013 speech to Deutsche Bank, the talk in which she boasted of her support for using hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and gas. “I've promoted fracking,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Mulling all these plausible, persuasive-sounding explanations of a vote for Hillary Clinton for president might almost be enough to convince some men to vote for her instead of for Mr. Trump. The easiest way, after all, for a man not to sound like a liar when saying he voted for Hillary Clinton is to go ahead and actually do it. That’s not an endorsement or a recommendation; it’s just the truth.

Ira Stoll is editor of FutureOfCapitalism.com and author of "JFK, Conservative." Read more reports from Ira Stoll — Click Here Now.

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Some tens of millions of heterosexual American men who will have voted for Mr. Trump will come home to their womenfolk on Election Day and have some uncomfortable options.
clinton, trump, polls, gender
Monday, 17 October 2016 12:37 PM
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