Majority of White Women Voted for Trump

Samantha Bee: “Democrats might feel lost in the woods, but they’re ignoring an obvious trail of breadcrumbs.”

Is this the end of the gender gap, the “women’s vote,” feminism as a political movement that has appeal beyond a relatively narrow faction of progressives?

Electing a woman president, “breaking the glass ceiling,” does not seem to be a high priority to the majority of women.

“Other issues—economic anxiety, cultural values, a desire for change—mattered more,” wrote Charlotte Alter in Time about Hillary Clinton’s achievement of almost becoming president and her complicated legacy. “Of the 70% of voters who said Donald Trump’s treatment of women bothered them, 29% voted for him anyway. The female coalition was a mirage, splintered by party, race and education: Clinton won 54% of all women, but Trump won 88% of Republican women, 52% of white women and 61% of white women without a college degree. She walked away with a lead of more than 2.5 million votes, but not the White House.”

On abortion, a surprisingly large number of American women believe it is “morally wrong” and describe themselves more pro-life than pro-choice. Polls vary widely on where women stand on the issue — from 44% to 61% pro-life. A 2016 Pew Research poll reported that 55% of women thought abortion should be legal “in all or most cases” and that number drops off significantly on the issue of later term abortions.

I still think a pro-choice female senator or governor might generate a lot of enthusiasm and passion among progressives to break the “highest glass ceiling” in the right climate provided she campaigns mainly on other issues. But shockingly, feminism or Trump’s misogyny turned out NOT to be a wedge issue in 2016.

An estimated 53% of white women voted “for a man who calls women pigs, has a string of sexual assault claims still outstanding, who will happily turn back women’s rights to contraception and abortion if it suits him. Women beware women,” writes Suzanne Moore.

About 51% of college-educated white women voted for Clinton, while 45% voted for Trump, The Atlantic reports.

The gender gap — the difference in the share of men and women who vote for a candidate — was 11 percentage points for Mr. Trump (53-42), similar to the gender gap for Bill Clinton in 1996 and Barack Obama in 2012, and in line with the gender breakdown of Republican voters.

Fifty-four percent of Mrs. Clinton’s voters were women, and 42 percent of Mr. Trump’s, an overall change of only one percentage point in Mrs. Clinton’s favor compared with 2012. Forty-one percent of her voters and 53 percent of Mr. Trump’s were men, an overall change of five percentage points in his favor.

Typically, at least 90 percent of voters in each party vote for that party’s candidate, according to Kathleen Dolan, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, who studies women in politics.


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