Saturday, December 06, 2008


I'm not surprised at Sarah Palin's strength among Republicans and Republican-leaners in a new CNN poll, but I realize I've been underestimating Mike Huckabee's appeal:

...In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey out Friday that serves as an early measure of potential support for the next GOP presidential nomination, Huckabee tops the list. Thirty-four percent of Republicans and independent voters who lean towards the GOP say they are very likely to support the former Arkansas governor if he were to become their party's nominee in 2012....

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate in this year's election, draws nearly as much support: 32 percent of those polled said they would get behind a Palin nomination....

"It might come as a surprise to some that Palin does better than Huckabee among GOP men but that Huckabee beats Palin among Republican women," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland....

Well, I've been telling you for months that the Palin phenomenon is a guy thing.

As for Huckabee, that result fits a widely observed phenomenon -- that women like church (and ministers) more than men do. Here's a blog post by a theology-school professor that invokes fairly recent books with titles such as Why Men Hate Going to Church and The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity, as well as a book written back in the 1970s by Ann Douglas (a professor of mine) called The Feminization of American Culture, which describes how nineteenth-century preachers and women jointly occupied a marginalized sentimental sphere. I did a post a couple of years ago about a group called GodMen, who gathered in evangelical churches and discussed ways of making church more guy-friendly, discussions that were accompanied by the comedy stylings of right-wing comic Brad Stine and a band playing a song called "Testosterone High." ("Forget the ying and the yang/ I'll take the boom and the bang/ Give me another dose of testosterone"). The female skew in churches is a big problem, I gather, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised at Huckabee's numbers in this poll.

Romney's not far back, with 28% -- though I can't help noticing that Huckabee's recent disparaging of Romney hasn't seemed to hurt him.

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