Blog ››› January 29, 2016 9:57 PM EST ››› MATT GERTZ
Author Gail Sheehy cited "50 conversations" she has had "with Democratic women of boomer age" to ask "Why Don't Boomer Women Like Hillary Clinton?" in a New York Times op-ed (that original headline was subsequently changed to "The Women Who Should Love Hillary Clinton"). But according to polling data, an overwhelming percentage of boomer women do support Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
After opening her essay with an anecdote about being confronted by "feminist boomers" who support Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination during a cruise organized by the progressive magazine The Nation, Sheehy reported:
Mrs. Clinton, 68, has always counted on women of her generation as her rock-solid base. Polls don't quantify doubts, but anecdotally, enthusiasm for her is anemic. Ambivalence is seeping in about her authenticity and the power of her symbolism as a woman. Once again, she has been caught coasting on inevitability by a grass-roots idealist with a universal health care plan. And there's a sense that those cracks in the ceiling, from 2008, were historic enough.
Over the past several months, I have had some 50 conversations with Democratic women of boomer age.
Sheehy went on to cite a variety of rationales provided by the women she contacted for why they did not support Clinton ("not authentic; can't trust her; she lies; she's establishment; she's a hawk").
Absent from Sheehy's narrative was polling data to support her claims about Clinton's support among boomer women. In fact, polling data shows that Clinton has dominant support from that demographic. According to an NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll, Clinton outpolls Sanders among women over age 65 by a 63 percent to 26 percent margin and among women 45 to 64 by a 63 percent to 25 percent margin.
Indeed, just six weeks ago the Times reported that "college-educated women in their 50s and 60s" are Clinton's "most avid supporters," citing interviews with Clinton supporters -- apparently different ones than those contacted by Sheehy.