You may have heard that the Yanks are having some sort of election.
You may have even heard that a minor celebrity called Lena Dunham made a political advertisement in support of the candidacy of Mr Obama. This production gave rise to hostile comment from Mr Romney’s supporters, which the Democrats claim was motivated by prudery but the Republicans claim was motivated by disquiet at Ms Dunham’s apparent assumption that the main hope of American maidens is to receive their lord’s seigneurial favour and be kept by him thereafter.
Admit it, though, the ad is funny. She has great comic timing, and the way she rattles out her spiel at speed while still managing to do recognizable parodies of the way people really talk shows she has all the observational skills one would expect from a talented scriptwriter. That is an aspect of the ad which has received less attention than it should. Ms Dunham’s particular gift is meant to be that she can write a script that reflects how women live today, on the understanding that ‘women’ means urban American women of her own class and race.
So Lena Dunham the great observer went out and observed this. Listen from 0:30 for the next five seconds:
It’s a fun game to say, “who are you voting for?” and they say, “I don’t want to tell you,” and you say, “No, who are you voting for?” and they go, “Guess.”
So even among the sort of people who Lena talks to there are enough Romney voters who don’t want to say so for her to find that coy response worth parodying? That could explain certain oddities in the polls.