Martha Coakely - Will Feminism Play a Role in the MA Senate Race? image speakout.com
The Assocatied Press, in reporting on the special election to fill Massachusetts vacant senate seat, headlined: “Insider, centerfold lead in race for Kennedy seat”. The “Insider” they refer to is State Attorney General, Martha Coakley, who, according to the last polls, maintains a 15 point lead (Rasmussen), over her male counterparts going into next Tuesdays primary. As to the “Centerfold”, Republican Scott Brown, had posed for Cosmopolitan Magazine over thirty years ago, in order to pay his way through law school . A match-up between the left-of-center Coakley (pro-abortion, pro-universal health care, and most likely to vote along party lines) and Republican Scott Brown (a moderate, who, is one of the few Republican State Senators in the Commonwealth) is considered a safe bet for Coakley. Or is it?
Enter the debate on Women and Feminism
Nancy Hopkins, a Biology Professor at MIT, wrote an article on Huffington Postwhich asked: “Will Women Vote for a Women”? That is the pivotal question Ms. Hopkins is asking, as she outlines the pros of a vote for Coakley: She’s pro-abortion.
That said, the feminist theory that a woman should vote for a woman based on gender alone, is ridiculous. Women should vote for the most qualified candidate, and it would be hoped that said candidate would be – a woman. That is not always the case. Hillary Clinton is an example, she was the most qualified candidate in the 2008 Democrat primary, and she, therefore, won the Massachusetts popular vote, so, in that respect women do vote for qualified candidates for public office.
Martha Coakley was also elected to office, the office of Attorney General. That said one has to take a harder look at Massachusetts in general, the bluest state, with the fewest women holding top jobs via the electorate. To date: not one woman, Republican or Democrat, has held the Governor’s Seat or a State Senate Seat by popular election. There is something hypocritical about this very liberal state: the make-up appears sexist.
Additionally, Ms. Hopkins is not factoring in political ideology and the makeup of the State’s electorate. Although most of the voting bloc in Massachusetts that is affiliated with a political party, are Democrats, that accounts for approximately thirty percent of the vote, Republican’s fare less well in this state, with approximately 11% of the electorate – the balance: unenrolleds or those choosing to belong to either party.
Should Coakley succeed on Tuesday in besting the three male contenders she faces; regardless of her valiant fund-raising efforts, she must, as a Democrat and a woman, in favor of abortion, cap and trade and health care reform (all three issues not as popular in Massachusetts as one would think)run against the fiscally conservative Scott Brown, whose opponent in the State Primary, Jack E. Robinson, has been running ads all over the Commonwealth accusing Scott Brown of being a Republican in Name Only. This message will resonate well with those unenrolled voters who are enthralled by moderates. (Note to Brown, don’t forget to send Robinson that “Thank You” card.)
Coakely will Face Republican Scott Brown in MA Senate Race - image: kennedyseat.com
Therefore, the outcome will be based on several factors, should Coakley sail through the primary, she will face sexism on the State Level, she is running as a Democrat at a time when the brand is somewhat damaged due to the economy. She will also face a charismatic, experienced and qualified Senator, and moderate Scott Brown, who has been identified by his opponent as being too moderate. Although one cannot pretend to have a crystal ball, one would hazard to guess that at this point, should this scenario play out, Coakley may end up being yet another woman who has been done wrong by the Massachusetts electorate.