Microtrends on the Morning Zoo

The new book my Hillary Clinton’s adviser, Mark Penn, got some airplay on Z100 this morning, when the jockeys discussed parts of Microtrends that deal with the increasing number of single women. I thumbed through my copy to find the passage:

“Assuming that about 5 percent of U.S. adults are gay (as experts claim, and polls bear out), there are something like 7.5 million gay men and 3.5 million lesbians in America. If you subtract them from the already lopsided numbers of overall men and women, you get something like 109 million straight women to 98 million straight men – for a straight sex ratio of 53 to 47.”

Why would a political junkie like Penn care about such numbers?

“It is possible that the unfavorable straight sex ratio, discouraging as it is for women in some respects, has encouraged women to excel elsewhere. As we’ll see in the trend on Wordy Women [in chapter 2], young women outnumber young men in fields like law, public relations, and journalism. Women outvoted men 54 to 46 percent in the 2004 presidential election.”

He goes on to write:

“The impact of women can’t be overstated. In 2004, women were 54 percent of the American electorate, the highest percentage in history. Their interest in and impact on politics has been steadily increasing.

“You may recall that in 1996, Soccer Moms were the critical swing voters. Today, those Moms remain at the center of the swing vote, but they are about a decade older, and their kids are going off to college."