The gender gap in partisanship

So, a few weeks ago I was grading a paper that said that men had become much more Republican.  I never taught that!  The gender gap has grown larger, by a little, but basically from women (unsurprisingly) moving towards the Democrats in the Trump era.  Anyway, I did a quick search on-line to see where my student might have come up with this false take, but didn’t see anything.  I did, though, come across this nice set of Pew graphs:

From 2010 through 2015, about half of women (51%-52%) identified with or leaned toward the Democratic Party. But the share of women who identify with or lean to the Democratic Party has risen in recent years, to 54% in 2016 and 56% in 2017. The partisan breakdown of men is relatively unchanged over this period.

The Democratic gains among women have not come from increased affiliation with the party. Overall, the proportion of women voters who identify with (rather than lean toward) the Democratic Party has remained relatively constant for the past 25 years (in 1994, 37% of women said they identified with the Democratic Party, compared with 39% in 2017).

Anyway, far as I can tell, Pew has not broken out gender and partisanship since then to see how this trend has or has not continued through 2018, but I’m going to confidently state that it’s not men becoming more Republican.  Donald Trump is not drawing people in.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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