Women Voters and the Gender Gap
The gender gap is the difference between the proportions of women and men who support a given candidate, generally the leading or winning candidate. It is the gap between the genders, not within a gender. Even if women and men favor the same candidate, they may do so by different margins, resulting in a gender gap.
Voter turnout refers to the proportion of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election. Women have voted at higher rates than men in every presidential election since 1980, with the gap between women and men growing slightly larger with each successive election.
The women’s vote describes the division in women’s support for major party candidates in any given race. It is the percentage-point advantage that one candidate has over the other among women voters – that is, the difference in women’s support for the Democratic and Republican candidates.
Gender Gaps in Voting Evident Across All 2016 U.S. Senate Races
Historic Gender Gap Isn’t Enough to Propel Clinton to Victory in 2016 Presidential Race
by Kelly Dittmar
Book chapter in Minority Voting in the United States, eds. Kyle L. Kreider and Thomas J. Baldino. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2015.
This chapter provides an overview of scholarship examining the behavior and influence of women voters in United States history, from the fight for suffrage to the emergence of gender gaps in vote choice, voter preferences, and voter turnout. Dittmar exposes and explains gender differences between men and women voters, as well as among women, and discusses how those differences influence the electoral process. This chapter introduces subsequent chapters in the volume that analyze gender differences in specific issue areas such as guns and crime, abortion, and the role of government.
The Gender Gap: Gender Differences in Vote Choice and Political Orientations
by Kelly Dittmar
Women and men are political actors with distinct political preferences. These differences – or gender gaps – emerged in the 1980s and have been persistent since then in vote choice, party identification, and presidential performance ratings. In its latest edition of "A Closer Look," CAWP highlights what we know about gender gaps and asks key questions about potential gender differences in voting in 2014.
Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, 3rd Edition
Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Union College, New York
Cambridge University Press, 2013 Third Edition, 287 pages
The third edition of Gender and Elections highlights the most important developments for women as voters and candidates in the 2012 elections and providing a more long-term, in-depth analysis of the ways that gender has helped shape the contours and outcomes of electoral politics in the United States. Individual chapters demonstrate the importance of gender in understanding and interpreting presidential elections, presidential and vice-presidential candidacies, voter participation and turnout, voting choices, congressional elections, the political involvement of Latinas, the participation of African American women, the support of political parties and women's organizations, candidate communications with voters, and state elections. Earlier editions (First Edition 2006, Second Edition 2010) provide similar analysis for the 2004 and 2008 elections.
Women’s Votes in 2012 Critical to Democrats Retaining Control of the U.S. Senate
Women’s Votes Decisive in 2012 Presidential Race
The Quest for Women’s Votes in Election 2012
by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Scholars Strategy Network Basic Facts
An analysis of women voters and the role they will play in the 2012 elections.
Gender Stereotypes and Gender Preferences in American Politics
by Kira Sanbonmatsu and Kathleen Dolan
Chapter in Improving Public Opinion Surveys: Interdisciplinary Innovation and the American National Election Studies, Eds. John H. Aldrich and Kathleen M. McGraw. Princeton University Press, 2012
Organizing American Politics, Organizing Gender
Book chapter by Kira Sanbonmatsu in The Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior, Ed. Jan E. Leighley.
Oxford University Press, 2010, 800 pages
This edited volume contains chapters by leading experts in the field of American elections and political behavior. Sanbonmatsu's chapter reviews research on gender differences in mass behavior and candidacy. She argues that future scholarship should focus on understanding the conditions under which gender structures political behavior and elections. In addition to calling for research on when gender as a social category is cued in politics, she argues that elections can create gender as a category: political behavior and elections themselves can shape beliefs about gender, instructing society about what men and women are like.