It’s Friday, baby, and you know what that means: time to steal an idea for a post from a former colleague who was foolish enough to post it on Twitter rather than publish it in full himself.
As Matt Zeitlin observes (thank you Matt!), the fratty Barstool media network is celebrating recent declines in the price of chicken wings:
Indeed, as NBC News noticed first, the price of a pound of wholesale wings has fallen under $1.50 this summer, less than half of what it was in late 2020 and early 2021. (What dark times those were, for chowing down.)
Also! High-profile Barstool founder Dave Portnoy denounced the overturning of Roe v. Wade in a June video in which he complained that the Republican position on abortion would force him to vote for “morons like Biden.” (Portnoy has, for the record, recently been accused of sexual abuse. He has denied the allegations against him.)
Since June, meanwhile—concurrent to Portnoy’s tepid endorsement of the president and his company’s celebration of the slowdown in appetizer inflation—the Republican Party’s 2.2 percentage point lead in FiveThirtyEight’s generic congressional ballot tracker has disappeared and is now a 0.5-point deficit. Biden’s approval rating has begun peeking out of the sub–40 percent sewer where it had been hanging out for a while. Put this all together, Zeitlin’s post implies somewhat facetiously, and you have evidence that Democrats are benefiting from a brosurgence of bromentum.
Granted, the fall in price of chicken wings is likely less important as a determinant of poll responses than the fall in the price of less gendered goods like gas. Donald Trump has also been in the news a great deal over the summer, which is usually bad for the Republican Party’s poll numbers among all Americans, not just the male ones.
On the other hand, a comparison of Fox News polls from May and August does in fact show a 28-point net decline in support for Republicans over that period among a subgroup identified as “dads.” (Dads may not be bros, but many were bros at one time, and some are definitely still guys and dudes. And some are still bros!) It’s a much larger pivot away from the GOP than those found among other subgroups.
The Fox poll showing the 28-point drop doesn’t include any information on how large the subset of dads is or how it is defined. It also documents a much smaller May-to-August Republican loss of 4 points among men in general. There are reasons to suspect the dads thing may be a random result that won’t show up elsewhere.
But the poll’s cross tabs do show a large gap between men in general and “dads” regarding the subject of abortion. According to Fox’s August poll, men in general think the Democratic Party would do a better job of handling the issue, should they maintain power in November, by a 47–45 margin over Republicans. Dads in the poll, however, favor the Democrats by a margin of 58–35.
Is this because a man who has fathered a child is more likely to have an understanding of the disproportionate stress the reproductive process puts on women? Is it because he might be more likely to have nuclear family relationships with one or more of the type of people who are affected by abortion laws? Could Dobbs’ “activation” of women voters also have had a knock-on effect on dads? I’m not entirely sure, at this point! But what I do know is that Matt Zeitlin has, at the least, earned this post-concluding link to his newsletter.