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Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 129 -- The Gender Gap.

Gender Politics-

The shrinking of the Democratic margin among women voters was the most important – and perhaps the least noticed – development of the 2004 election. In the two previous presidential campaigns, the Democratic candidate triumphed among women voters by 16 points (Bill Clinton) and 11 points (Al Gore). In contrast, John Kerry won women voters by a mere 3 points, 51 to 48 percent. Not only did the democratic candidate garner less support among women than in the past, but the overall size of the gender gap narrowed as Bush maintained a solid 11-point margin among men. The small gender gap is consistent with the results of the 2002 congressional elections, when Democrats and Republicans essentially broke even among women, in ontrast to 1998 and 2000 when congressional Democrats won women voters by 6 and 8 points respectively.

To the extent that there is a "gender gap," it's specific to single women. Married women are on board with the Republican message. The next presidential candidate to win in a true landslide will need to bring that single white women number down below 50%, and keep the married white women under 40%.

The shift in the female partisan loyalties becomes even more clear when looking at the more frequent Congressional elections.


Interestingly, Republicans had a lousy showing with single white women in 1994, but still won an overwhelming mandate. Thus, it might be said that to the extent there is a gender gap, it hurts Democrats. Indeed, while Republicans certainly appreciate the soccer (or security) mom vote, the Democrats' "man problem" is far more significant than any "woman problem" Republicans face.


Clearly, being married with kids is an important factor in party preference. An interesting demographic trend to watch may be the rise of (usually liberal) women in America choosing not to have children. If having children becomes a Republican-oriented activity, the political landscape could turn sharply against the Democrats in the next few decades, as parents tend to pass political and cultural values down to their children.

Meanwhile, if married women with children turn against the GOP for whatever reason, it could mean serious trouble.

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc., "Moving Beyond The Gender Gap" (.pdf).


Previous Trivia Tidbit: The High-Performance United States Economic Engine.

Posted by Will Franklin · 5 August 2005 08:30 AM