The 2018 Gender Gap

The 2018 midterm election had the highest gender gap since 1992, a 23 point difference between men’s and women’s voting preferences, because a majority of women voted for Democrats. While this may not seems like a large increase from the 2016 election’s 22 point gender gap, the numbers are skewed because more men voted for Democrats in 2018 as well.

Exit poll data shows that 59 percent of women voted for Democrats, while 40 percent voted for Republicans. This is a margin of 19 percentage points, a record difference. More white women voted for Democrats in 2018, with a 49 percent to 49 percent divide between Republicans and Democrats, compared to 2012 when white women voted Republican with a 12 point margin. However, this means that the gender gap is mostly dependent on the large number of women of color who voted Democrat in 2018.

Besides gender, there was a large age gap as well; younger voters voted for Democrats with a 35 point margin in 2018, compared to a 14 point margin in 2016. Also, urban voters picked Democrats 65 percent to 35 percent while rural voters chose Republicans 56 percent to 42 percent. Suburban voters were split, a gain for Democrats.

The Democrats now control the House of Representatives, picking up at least twenty-nine seats, eighteen of which were won by women, and won at least seven governor races, while the Republicans gained two new seats in the Senate.


Media Resources: FiveThirtyEight  11/9/2018; Feminist Newswire 11/7/2018

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