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.

Women and American Politics: A Research Agenda for the 21st Century

Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 1996, 29 pages 

In April 1994, CAWP convened a group of 79 scholars, researchers, political practitioners, and activists to help identify existing gaps in our knowledge, discuss the reasons for the gaps, and imagine the kinds of research projects needed to address unanswered questions in our understanding of women's political behavior.

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Women Voters and the Gender Gap