Many of Warren’s language choices baffled me. For example, she used the term Latinx, despite the fact that, according to surveys, most people of Latin American descent feel ambivalent or even hostile to that neologism. “Warren is distinctively beholden to a hermetic academic-progressive world,” Ross Douthat hypothesized, “to a point where she doesn’t know how to talk to the less-ideological, less-woke, maybe-even-somewhat-conservative Hispanics whose votes her party needs.”
Warren listing her pronouns as she/her may have suggested politeness to trans people inside the elite progressive bubble, but outside of it, it looked like a famous public figure in her 70s faux-clarifying what everyone obviously knew to signal adherence to woke orthodoxies.
Warren’s woke virtue-signaling apparently did her no favors with historically marginalized groups. The New York Times reported on Warren’s success winning endorsements from black progressive activists––and her failure to gain traction among black voters. “The progressive activists who have showered her candidacy with validation have a different electoral lens than the black electorate at large,” the newspaper noted.
Even in her home state, Warren lost African Americans—in fact, she came in fourth, behind Biden, Sanders, and Bloomberg. She came in third among Latinos and a distant second among LGBTQ voters.
The research on whether sexism hurts female candidates is mixed. In a meta-analysis of studies about gender and politics at 538, Amelia Thomson Deveaux noted that “studies have found voters may be more biased against women when they run for executive offices,” but also that if you’re a female candidate Democratic voters will probably be especially friendly. “A recent experiment conducted by CBS and YouGov looked at the qualities prioritized by Democratic voters in a series of matchups between hypothetical candidates, and it found that Democrats showed a clear preference for female candidates,” she wrote. “One of the studies about executive leadership indicated that Democrats are more likely than Republicans and independents to see women as viable leaders, and a meta-analysis of multiple studies also found that Democrats are more likely than Republicans to support female candidates.”
Read: Sexism is other people
Lefteris Anastasopoulos found that in House elections between 1982 and 2012, female candidates, while far less common than male candidates, did not suffer disparities in fundraising, vote share, or probability of victory. And in another study of congressional races, Kathleen Dolan of the University of Wisconsin found “no evidence of any direct, consistent, or substantial impact for gender stereotypes on evaluations of, or voting for, women candidates.”
Some empirical evidence suggests that sexism may have cost Warren, in particular, some votes. Using the hostile sexism battery, a scale developed by social psychologists, the researchers Brian Schaffner and Sam Luks found last July that “among the least sexist voters, Biden and Warren are neck-and-neck; among the most sexist Democratic primary voters, Biden is preferred by as much as a four-to-one margin.”