New Jersey Republican Jeff Bell, who is running against incumbent Democrat Cory Booker in New Jersey’s US Senate race, told a New Jersey newspaper Thursday that he is behind Booker because single women are “wed” to the Democratic Party due to their reliance on government benefits. In a conversation with the Asbury Park Press, Bell lamented about his double-digit deficit in the polls to Booker, the former Newark mayor who was elected to the Senate last year via special election.
In Bell’s mind, the huge gender gap he is dealing with in the polls is solely based on single women feeling that they have to vote Democratic if they want to keep the benefits they need to survive.
“I’ve done a lot of thinking about this and looked at a lot of different polls, I think it has more to do with the rise in single women. Single mothers particularly are automatically Democratic because of the benefits. They need benefits to survive, and so that kind of weds them to the Democratic Party. But single women who have never married and don’t have children are also that way. If you take married women, they aren’t that different from married men. So it’s really a problem with the decline in marriage rates. The Democrats do benefit from that.”
With his foot placed firmly in his mouth, Bell decided to keep spouting out the broad stereotypes.
“Even before the gender gap appeared, men were more willing to vote for change. They’re more bomb-throwers. Women are more cautious. If you’re doing well among men, that is something that an insurgent candidate needs.”
Currently, Bell is well behind Booker in the polls with less than a month to go before the election. Bell hasn’t been considered a serious threat to Booker this entire time, and these latest tone-deaf comments aren’t going to help his cause. While a recent Stockton poll has Booker ‘only’ up by nine points and 11 points with women, that appears to be an outlier. A survey by Monmouth University shows Bell down 15 points with women favoring Booker by 23 points. Quinnipiac’s most recent poll shows Booker with an 11-point advantage and a 20-point lead with women.
These comments will make Bell more widely known among New Jersey voters. Even in the most recent polls, most New Jersey voters either have not heard of Bell of have no opinion of him. While this will increase Bell’s notoriety, it won’t help him at all. Oddly enough, when you say offensive things about women, or any specific group or class of people, they tend to not like you afterwards. Then again, we can’t go a week without some member the Republican Party saying something awful about women and minorities. Sometimes, they’ll just go out and make pandering sexist ads with the idea that women only care about wedding dresses and getting married, like the College Republicans did less than two weeks ago.