Gender Canyon Faces GOP, Says Poll

Republicans recently surveyed middle-aged voters and discovered that “the gender gap is a significant electoral problem,” said pollster Linda DiVall.

The polls were commissioned to help Republicans understand why women vote for Democrats more often than men. The poll found that among all voters, women support Democrats 47%-35%, while men favor Republicans by 47%-37%. Among voters between age 35 and 59, women support Democrats by a margin of 53%-33%, while men favor Republicans 51%-33%. DiVall told a group of Republicans seeking office that women think that education, health care and environmental protection are important. Women also think any budget surplus should be used to help working families, while men think it should go towards reducing the deficit, she said. The GOP needs to “understand how women react to some of our policies,” said DiVall.

The gender gap has had an increasingly significant electoral impact, and will probably play a significant role in the next House elections, where the GOP only holds a slim majority and 19 incumbents are retiring.


AP - October 28, 1997

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