Syndicated columnist David Broder notes this study by Barbara Palmer of American University and Dennis Simon of Southern Methodist University noting that women, well, at least liberal women, tend to win political races in areas that are, guess what, liberal:
“‘Female Democratic House members tend to win election in districts that are more liberal, more urban, more diverse, more educated and much wealthier than those won by male Democratic members of the House,’ they write. ‘They come from much more compact, “tonier,” upscale districts than their male counterparts.’
“They showed me a map that depicts the clustering of those districts in California, the Northeast corridor and urban areas from Cleveland and Detroit through Chicago, St. Louis, Denver to Portland and Seattle.
“The home base of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi typifies the kind of district that elects a Democratic woman. Her San Francisco district is tiny in area, 100-percent urban, highly diverse (majority-minority, in fact), well above average in income and education, more white collar than blue collar – and overwhelmingly Democratic in presidential preference and liberal in ideology.”
By contrast, Palmer and Simon note, the traditional blue-collar Democratic base seems to prefer male candidates. So Palmer and Simon suggest to the Dems: why not forget about this dwindling group and go whole-hog for more rich, educated, ultra-elite, ultra-liberal Nancy Pelosis–because hey, then, we’d have more women in Congress?
“[T]he radical suggestion from Palmer and Simon is for states to use this knowledge of what makes a district ‘woman-friendly’ in the next round of redistricting, after the 2010 Census, to increase substantially the number of women in Congress. As women in state legislatures position themselves for the coming redistricting battles, that’s something they can keep in mind.”
Yes, let’s have Dem gerrymandering to create safe districts for upscale, liberal, blue-state women. The Democrats may be in the process of becoming a permanent minority party, but at least it could call itself a minority party with great taste in home decor.