• July 9, 2021

Why the gender gap may have narrowed in the 2020 elections

Welcome to Pollapalooza, our weekly survey summary.

It has been said that women are from Venus and men from Mars. Generally speaking, that is a laughable bit of pop psychology, but there is some truth when it comes to politics. That’s because women have voted notably more Democrats than men in every presidential election since 1980, and the 2020 contest between Joe Biden and then-President Donald Trump was no different.

TO New Pew Research Center Validated Voter Study suggests, however, that the gender gap, or how women voted compared to men, narrowed significantly from 2016 to 2020. Pew found that 55 percent of women supported Biden compared to 48 percent. for men, a gender gap of 7 percentage points. This marked a 6-point reduction from the 13-point gap found by Pew in 2016, when 39 percent of women and 52 percent of men backed Trump. And the gender gap appears to have narrowed for two main reasons. First, Biden significantly improved his position among men: 48 percent of men won versus 41 percent for Hillary Clinton. Second, Trump significantly improved his position among women: 44 percent of women won in 2020 versus 39 percent in 2016.

It is more difficult to identify exactly why the gender gap narrowed from 2016 to 2020, but Pew’s figures point to a couple of possible explanations, particularly the influence of educational level on the choice of vote. Consider Biden’s improvement among college-educated men. He won 58 percent of this group, a giant leap from Clinton’s 49 percent in 2016. And his performance among college-educated men marked a 10-point advantage over his performance among men overall. Conversely, for Trump, his achievements among women were largely concentrated among those without a four-year college degree. Their support among that group grew from 43 percent in 2016 to 50 percent in 2020. Taken together, this reflects the recent trend of Americans with higher education levels leaning toward Democrats and less-educated Americans. moving towards the Republican Party.

This change was especially notable among white voters, as educational attainment has tended to be a larger cleavage for them than for other racial or ethnic groups. Biden won 54 percent of white men with a college degree, up from 47 percent for Clinton in 2016, while white women without a four-year degree moved in the other direction as Trump’s support grew. to 64 percent, up from 56 percent in 2016.

However, educational achievement is not the whole story, as white men without a college degree also shifted significantly toward Biden in 2020. Although Trump still won that group by a large margin, Biden won 31 percent of them by comparison. with 23 percent for Clinton, an improvement that may have been foreshadowed by Biden’s performance in the presidential primaries, in which he performed markedly better than Clinton in many parts of the country with a higher proportion of white voters without a college degree. .

So another factor in narrowing the gender gap, especially for men, may have been the nature of Biden’s candidacy. As a white man in his seventies, he may just seem more moderate And it may also have been less likely to elicit sexist reactions from male voters than Clinton in 2016. This is reflected in the gains Biden made among men: there is no clear pattern. Biden won between men with and without a college degree. But he also won among white men overall, with 40 percent of that group winning, up from 32 percent for Clinton in 2016. Additionally, Biden won 44 percent of married men – married voters. tend to be more conservative than single voters, marking a major improvement over Clinton’s 32 percent in 2016.

More broadly, Biden won 52 percent of independents, compared to 42 percent for Clinton, and 16 percent for moderate or liberal Republicans, doubling 8 percent for Clinton. In other words, in an era of political trench warfare, elements of Biden’s identity and political profile may have been enough for him to appeal to a wide swath of the electorate, narrowing the gender gap. Y win the elections in the process.

Now, other polls don’t line up as well with some of Pew’s findings, and the reality is that we will never know with absolute certainty how the different groups voted last November. However, this study offers another look at what happened in 2020 and the broader trends in the American electorate, including the possibility that the long-standing gender gap narrowed last November.

Other voting bites

  • In June, Republican pollster Echelon Insights examined how cultural and economic attitudes relate to partisanship, and a poll question asked what kind of political party respondents would support if the US had more than two major parties. Twenty-four percent of registered voters said they identified with a Trump-style nationalist party bent on stopping illegal immigration and “putting America first,” while 19 percent said they would support a more traditional conservative party that It would “defend” free enterprise and “promote traditional family values.” Tellingly, 83 percent of Nationalist party supporters and 78 percent of Conservative party supporters backed Trump in the 2020 election. Meanwhile, 26 percent of voters said they would support a targeting party. that seeks to expand the social safety net, while 9 percent would support a green party that promotes environmental, social and economic justice. Lastly, 10 percent said they would support a socially liberal but fiscally conservative. “AcelaParty. At least 80 percent of those who identified with the last three parties voted for Biden in 2020.
  • As COVID-19 vaccines go mainstream and the economy reopens, Gallup Measure How Americans evaluate their own well-being found a record 59.2 percent “prosperous,” according to the pollster’s ranking. This represented a marked change from the low of 46.4 percent that said the same in April 2020, when the coronavirus was causing closures and thousands of deaths. In particular, however, Americans’ life satisfaction and anticipated well-being is higher now than even before the pandemic.
  • Newsy / Ipsos found that a vast majority of Americans were at least somewhat comfortable behaving as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, 86 percent of employed workers said they were comfortable working outside the home, and 69 percent of all respondents said they agreed to being in a public place indoors without a mask. In terms of personal interactions, 64 percent said they felt comfortable hugging another person, and 60 percent said they felt comfortable shaking hands.
  • The latest weekly survey from The Economist / YouGov asked Americans about climate change, and 61 percent said the world’s climate was changing due to human activity, while 30 percent said the climate was changing but not due to human activity (9 percent said the weather wasn’t changing at all). Given the political divide on climate change, there were notable partisan divisions on this issue. Eighty-six percent of Democrats, 60 percent of independents, and 32 percent of Republicans agreed that human activity was behind climate change, while 50 percent of Republicans, the 32 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats said the climate was changing but humans were not. responsable. However, overall, the pollster did not find much movement on this question, as the responses were similar across March 2018.
  • According to The Hill / HarrisX, Americans are quite divided on why Allen Weisselberg, Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization was charged. 51% of registered voters said the charges for tax fraud and other alleged crimes were politically motivated, while 49% said prosecutors had discovered criminal behavior. Unsurprisingly, 75 percent of Republicans said the indictment was politically motivated compared to 70 percent of Democrats, who said the charges were due to criminal behavior.
  • YouGov He asked Americans who had been married if they thought certain marriage traditions should be preserved or abandoned. Overall, most traditions were still very popular, but the majority of respondents wanted to abandon two long-standing practices: 50 percent wanted to stop the bride from promising to obey her husband (32 percent wanted to preserve that tradition) and 43 percent wanted to let the bride’s family pay for the wedding (25 percent wanted to preserve this). However, women, and not men, seemed to be the main drivers of this: 61 percent of women wanted to stop promising to obey their husbands (versus 38 percent of men), and 52 percent he didn’t want the bride’s family to do it. they have to pay for the wedding (compared to 34 percent of men).

Biden approval

According to the FiveThirtyEight presidential approval tracker, 51.7 percent of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing as president, while 42.1 percent disapprove (a net approval rating of +9.6 points ). At this time last week, 52.1 percent approved and 42.2 percent disapproved (a net approval rating of +9.9 points). A month ago, Biden had an approval rating of 53.1 percent and a disapproval rating of 40.5 percent (a net approval rating of +12.6 points).

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