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Women outnumber men, but they do not vote in the same way

Women voters are not a safe bet for Democrats, according to recent voting research.

While black, Latin American and Asian women voted for Democratic President Joe Biden by wide margins, 55% of white women voted for then-incumbent Republican Donald Trump, and 44% chose Biden, who then went on to vote. won.

The data challenges any notion that women are a monolithic electoral bloc with a shared sense of identity.

“There is no single type of women’s vote in the American electorate,” says Claire Gothreau, associate researcher at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers. “Yes, women are more likely to vote Democratic than men. But once you look at the gender data broken down by race, age group, education, religiosity, there are some really big differences. For example, white women voted fairly regularly for Republicans in presidential elections. ”

Yet across all age groups, women tend to vote more Democratic, with more white women voting for Democrats than white men. Additionally, a CAWP analysis found that unmarried women tend to vote at a higher rate than unmarried men, but married couples tend to vote at similar rates to each other.

Vote in Miami, Florida on November 3, 2020. A majority of white women have voted for the Republican candidate since 2000, and so in 2020.

According to the analysis, there is also an education gap. Educated voters from all demographic groups tend to vote more Democratic, but the gap is not as wide among voters of color. Sixty-four percent of white women with college degrees voted for Biden, while 45% voted for Trump.

No matter how they vote, women play a huge role in American elections.

“They have registered and voted at higher rates than men in every presidential election since 1980,” Gothreau said. “They outnumber men, at least in the last two elections, by around 10 million. So even though men have overtaken women in terms of other forms of political engagement like donation and candidacy, the fact that women prevail over men is significant. ”

But that doesn’t mean they all vote for female candidates. The numbers suggest that race is a stronger shared identity than gender, Gothreau says.

Meanwhile, women of color wield increasing power in the American electorate, Gothreau says. Non-whites made up around a third of the electorate in 2020, the largest share on record.

Women outnumber men, but they do not vote in the same way

Black women have one of the highest turnout among American voters and are increasingly powerful at the polls. Photo taken on November 2, 2020.

The voting power of black women was evident in the last cycle of the presidential election.

“Black women are a demographic that tends to be very large, and I think that definitely played out in 2020,” Gothreau said. “In the key states where black women found themselves, in urban areas, in places like Georgia, this was just essential to Biden’s victory. And it is the case, especially in the last election, that black women have one of the highest turnout rates. ”

And she expects black women and other women of color to become even more influential at the polls in the future.

“More and more Gen Z (young people up to the age of 24) can vote, and it’s an increasingly diverse generation,” says Gothreau. “So I think in the future we’re going to see, in particular, young women of color having a lot of influence in our elections.”

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