The XX Factor

Linda McMahon’s Gender Gap Is Nothing Special

A guest post from Slate blogger Tom Scocca:

Why don’t women want to vote for Linda McMahon in Connecticut? The Times suggests it’s the “harshness” of her campaign , the overkill levels of spending, and her association with pro wrestling’s “cartoonish and demeaning depictions of women.” Emily and Rachael were wondering how exactly McMahon, the Republican nominee for the Senate, might separate herself from the wrestling imagery, or whether a man would have the same problems with public perception.

Does wrestling really have anything to do with it, though? Women prefer McMahon’s opponent to her, by a margin of 61-34. And how do women feel about a female candidate with no ties to professional wrestling?

According to Time magazine, in Delaware’s Senate race, Republican Christine O’Donnell trails her opponent among women polled, 61-34. (Men are against O’Donnell, too, but only 53-42.)

The affiliation that’s hurting McMahon with women in the polls isn’t the WWE; it’s the GOP. This year’s surge of Republican enthusiasm is a male phenomenon . The simplest explanation for McMahon’s lack of female support is that female voters aren’t the ones who want to replace Democrats with Republicans.

In West Virginia, Republican John Raese leads Democrat Joe Manchin by 9 points among men but trails Manchin by 10 points among women. Time has Wisconsin Republican nominee Ron Johnson ahead of Russ Feingold by 15 points among men, but tied among women.

And in Washington state, where Democrat Patty Murray is running against Republican Dino Rossi, women favor Murray by 31 points, while men favor Rossi by 15. That’s a 46-point gender gap-McMahon’s gap is 27 points-with nobody making anybody bark like a dog.

Photograph of Sharron Angle by Stephen J. Boitano for Getty Images .