Why does gender influence voting decisions in the US?
The gender gap - the difference between the proportions of women and men who support a certain candidate/party - is a phenomenon that has existed in the USA (a country where two parties dominate: the Democrats and the Republicans) has existed for about 40 years. It describes the tendency for most women and men to vote for one or the other party. The gap has become clearer over the past two decades, meaning that statistically speaking, women now vote for most Democrats and men for Republicans. This happens for a variety of reasons, some have something to do with current President Donald Trump, others are more general.
The significant division of the two sexes into the two parties was first shown in 1980, since then it has moved in a range from four to eleven points and averages eight. It is important to mention that women still predominantly voted for Republicans until 1988, only to then choose neither excessively for Democrats nor Republicans in the 1992 election. Aside from, that it should be said that in 1992 there were no excessive votes for either party among the men - voting behaviour was almost even.
One possible reason for the first gender gap could be that in 1980 more women than men voted for the first time. When the right to vote for women was introduced in the US 100 years ago, the media worried that women would massively change the entire political system through their voting rights. However, as I said, a change caused by women has only been noticed for less than half of this time; this was probably due to the initially low turnout by women.
The most recent presidential election in 2020 once again created a gender gap, which was eight per cent for the Democrats (more women than men voted for the Democrats) and six per cent for the Republicans (the opposite happened here).
For the statistics, women are divided into several groups in the elections: On the one hand, they are "sorted" in the data collection according to skin colour and on the other hand by place of residence. Black women are the most electoral group (meaning there is a high level of political interest among them) - they almost uniformly vote for Democrats, Latinas vote largely democratically, in contrast to male Hispanics, who are mostly democratic, but also too big Proportion of Republicans vote, white women are just a few per cent on the Republican side, which they voted statistically for the last 25 years, but in the 2016 election they switched to the Democrats, presumably because they had Hillary Clinton - a woman - as a candidate. The three types of place of residence are city (a group of women who are more democratically oriented), village/country (mostly republican) and suburbs (mostly the hardest “contested”, as their political orientation changes from election to election). The level of education is roughly divided into women with a college degree and women without a college degree; those with a majority are on the side of the Democrats, those without are also not decided and are repeatedly courted by the two parties. Especially the suburban women and those without college degrees, i.e., the workers, were responsible for Biden's victory in the last election (2020). The 2018 midterm elections were a breakthrough for women's political representation in the US, setting a record for women in Congress when the Democrats increased their female membership slightly to 42 per cent, but Republicans even doubled that Number of its female members to 12 per cent. It is also important to say that the members of Congress are not determined by the parties but are elected.
One theory for the emergence of the gender gap is the emerging women's movement in the USA in the 1990s, which caused many women to reconsider their voting decisions or make them aware for the first time. Because, as already said, many women did not even vote beforehand or took over the political concepts of their men and thus simply voted for the same thing as them. Perhaps another reason for women to be more politically confident was the Equality Amendment, which banned all discrimination based on sex.
According to a survey, women are more important than men in choosing their party when it comes to racism, LGBTQ rights and climate change. In return, the economy is more important for men. If you try to assign these main topics to the two parties, you quickly see that the topic pool that addresses women is more democratic and that that addresses men is more republican. In this last election (2020), Trump's handling of the corona crisis was certainly a priority for many women. Because the unemployment rate among women rose to a double-digit number again after more than 50 years due to the Covid 19 crisis. Women were hit harder than men, this was probably because many branches of industry that were dominated by women were cut back sharply or were filled with far fewer employees (e.g., care professions); moreover, mothers are burdened more than average by home schooling. Biden said that he would treat the situation differently and deal with the situation better, as a result of which he could probably get a lot of votes here from women burdened by the crisis.
One of the obvious reasons for the decision of numerous women was certainly the gender of Vice-President Biden Kamala Harris, through her the electorate could hope for a chance that a president could come to power by a detour (exactly from the same Just because without the detour, Hillary Clinton certainly got a record number of votes from women).
One of the reasons that was/is most understandable for many women to vote for the Democrats is their view of abortion, namely that it should be allowed with little or no restrictions, in contrast to the Republicans, for whom some politicians have abortions want to ban completely. I assume that many women also reject Donald Trump, as he is often prone to sexist statements.
At the beginning of my research, I thought that I might not find any logically justified reason for the gender gap. But as it turns out, several reasons make me understand why most women vote for Democrats over Republicans. But I also have to say self-critically that I hardly explored the other side and examined the male gender.
P.S. This essay was written by a male in January 2020.