Originally published in November 2013
When Terry McAuliffe defeated Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia gubernatorial race Tuesday night, women were credited with handing him the victory. Pundits quickly declared that Cuccinelli’s extreme views on abortion—with the ultimate goal to “make abortion disappear in America”—were key to losing the female vote. A closer look at the numbers, however, reveals a different story.
Cuccinelli lost among women voters, by a margin of 51 percent to 42 percent. But he won a majority of votes among white women—54 percent—while 91 percent of black women voted for McAuliffe. A strong majority of unmarried women broke for McAuliffe, 67 percent. These facts have been obscured by the widespread claim that the “gender gap” fueled McAuliffe’s victory—and that candidates’ stances on abortion and birth control are what swing the “women’s vote.” As the Virginia election results show, if it were up to white women, the anti-choice candidate would have prevailed. If any voting block determined the outcome of the race, it was black women. Read the rest in The Nation