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In Austria, The Vote Demographics Look Awfully Familiar

The extremist lost, but not by much.

You probably know that a bullet was just dodged in Austria:

Right-wing Austrian presidential candidate Norbert Hofer has lost a runoff election against liberal opponent Alexander Van der Bellen 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent, the country's interior minister announced. Hofer is a member of the Freedom Party, a group founded in the 1950s by former Nazis and led for many years by the nationalist politician Jörg Haider, who died in 2008. Hofer carried a handgun while campaigning and advocates strict limits on immigration and the admittance of refugees.

What you may not know is that the demographics of this election look very similar to polls of the U.S. presidential election -- not just in terms of social class or place of residence, but in terms of gender:

In nine out of Austria's 10 main cities Mr Van der Bellen came top, whereas Mr Hofer dominated the rural areas, theAustrian broadcaster ORF reported (in German).

Support for Mr Hofer was exceptionally strong among manual workers - nearly 90%. The vote for Mr Van der Bellen was much stronger among people with a university degree or other higher education qualifications.

Support for Mr Hofer among men was 60%, while among women it was 60% for Mr Van der Bellen.

In an election focused on the immigration debate, the far-rightist was backed by rural voters, blue collar workers -- and men in general.

But these things become gendered, don't they? There are far-rightists (and immigrant-bashers) in both genders, but a lot of men seem to take the presence in their country of people they don't like as a personal affront to their manhood. And men generally seem to appreciate politicians who offer them a license to hate.

It wasn't quite enough for a victory in Austria; let's hope we dodge the same bullet.

(Via Billmon.)

Originally posted at No More Mr. Nice Blog


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