The women’s vote was key in Democratic victories on Tuesday. Nowhere was its impact more apparent than in the Virginia Jim Webb/George Allen Senate race. Fifty-five percent of women voted for Jim Webb (D), while 55 percent of men voted for George Allen (R), for a ten-point gender gap, according to exit polls. The gender gap was also decisive in the Montana Jon Tester/Conrad Burns Senate race, where 52 percent of women voted for Democratic challenger Tester and 50 percent of men voted for incumbent Republican Burns for another decisive gender gap. In Missouri’s Senate race, 51 percent of women voted for Claire McCaskill (D), while 51 percent of men voted for Jim Talent (R). It can be said that if only men voted, Republicans would still be in control of the Senate.
In the House, again, women’s votes made a difference in the election’s outcome. The exit polls were largely not broken up by House district, but overall, women voted five percentage points more (56 percent) for Democrats than men (51 percent). According to past gender gap analysis and overall Senate and House exit polls, women played an integral role in the House going Democratic – especially in close races.