Culture

Women Statistically Vote Democrat More Than Men Do—Here’s Why

By Meghan Dillon
·  7 min read
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We all know that voting is our civic duty, and it’s fascinating to see how different demographics vote across the country.

In recent decades, women have not only voted more than men but also shown different voting habits than men. One of the main differences is that women tend to vote for more Democratic candidates than men, but why is that? 

Women Are More Likely To Have Liberal Beliefs

One of the main reasons why women are more likely to vote for Democrats is that women are more likely to hold socially liberal views, especially in the last 30 years. Daniel de Vise of The Hill writes, “Among young women, liberalism has exploded. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, fewer than 30 percent of women identified as liberal. The liberal camp grew through the second term of former President George W. Bush. It expanded further during the tenure of former President Obama. It reached 39 percent in 2017 with the inauguration of Trump. In the last two years, liberalism surged anew.”

According to Gallup, women are “more likely to be Democrats, regardless of age.” Though the gender gap exists across all ages, it’s even greater between young women and men. But why are women, especially young women, more likely to have liberal views? Much of this has to do with the Democratic Party doing a great job at marketing itself as the empathetic party and supporting issues like abortion which is connected to the current wave of the feminist movement. De Vise writes, “Several societal forces have conspired to push young women to the left in recent years, including the #MeToo movement, former President Trump, rising LGBTQ identification and, most recently, abortion policy. Slower-cooking trends in marital status and educational attainment have also nudged the needle.”

Women are also more likely to be impoverished and rely on social programs like welfare. According to The Atlantic, “Women are more likely to live below the poverty threshold and rely on food stamps and other welfare services – part of a global phenomenon known as ‘the feminization of poverty.’ This fact may make them more receptive to Democrats’ relatively consistent promises to expand the welfare state. As the Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell writes, "Women are also more likely to work or be employed in government and government-regulated sectors, such as education and health care. It stands to reason that these employment trends make women less likely to vote for a Republican Party that has, for four decades, consistently promised to slash taxes and shrink government.”

Women are more likely to be impoverished and rely on social programs like welfare. 

Interestingly, women are more likely to vote for all types of Democratic candidates. From Marxist or socialist candidates (both Millennial and Gen Z women have embraced socialism more than previous generations) to more moderate Democrat politicians like President Biden, women are more likely to support candidates on the left side of the political aisle than men. 

Women Are Naturally More Compassionate and Caretaking

But why do women tend to hold more socially liberal beliefs? Women are biologically wired to be more empathetic, caring, and maternal, so liberal policies that provide more services, support, money, or flexibility to citizens (even if not the most economically sound in the big picture or the long term) like free college, forgiving student loan debt, mandated paid maternity leave, looser immigration policy, and increasing welfare lend themselves to pulling on women’s instinctual heartstrings.  

Democrats have done a great job at branding themselves as the empathetic and compassionate party. Before marriage equality was passed in 2015, Democrats were the party that supported the issue the most. This also goes for immigration policy and social policies like welfare. Though most Republicans would argue that they are also empathetic, it doesn’t erase the fact that the Democrats are masters at marketing themselves as the party of empathy.

In truth, most Americans are good and empathetic people. The main difference between the Democratic and Republican parties is that they approach the solutions to issues differently – one wanting immediate results and one wanting slower but more sustainable long-term results – but they both want to solve these issues. If our culture focused more on common ground, and if the Republicans wanted to be more empathetic (less divisive culture war content and more solutions), then they might win more women over.

Many Women Believe Democrats Are on Their Side 

On November 3, 2022, co-host of The View Sunny Hostin went viral for comparing white suburban Republican women to “roaches voting for raid.” Conservative co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin was quick to call her out, saying that her comments were “insulting to the voter,” and center-left co-host Sara Haines pointed out that some voters simply have different priorities than her.

Hostin’s comments enraged those in conservative media (left or right, it was a pretty insulting comment), but her comments perfectly illustrate how many women believe that the Democratic Party is on their side. Though it’s tempting to blame the Trump years for this problem, it’s been happening since the Reagan administration in the 1980s. According to The Atlantic, “With the nomination of Reagan for president in 1980, the Republican Party moved sharply to the right on a handful of issues relevant to women. The party dropped its support of the Equal Rights Amendment, embraced an anti-abortion position, and courted conservative Christians who lamented the effect of working women on ‘traditional’ families. Although Reagan handily won election, he lost women by eight points.”

If Republicans want to increase the female vote, they’ll have to dig deeper into social issues women care about. 

Many women lean Democrat because they’re more liberal on social issues like abortion, which has led them to believe that the Democratic Party is the party of their best interests. Jen Ericson of the Lancaster County Democratic Committee writes, “It shouldn’t be surprising that more women register as and vote for Democrats. The issues that impact women’s quality of life, such as equal rights, equal pay, reproductive freedom, and education are central themes of the Democratic Party platform. In short, the Democratic Party does more to support women.”

Polling data confirms Ericson’s theory. According to FiveThirtyEight, more women have “swung towards Democrats” since Roe V. Wade was overturned in June. Although some men have done the same, it’s become the most important issue for many women. Though women basing their vote on one issue is a topic worth discussing (as well as men), it’s important to note how important the issue of abortion is to many American women, and the Democratic party is the party that supports their views the topic.

Closing Thoughts

It’s no secret that women tend to be more liberal than men, making them more likely to vote for Democrats. If Republicans want to increase the female vote, Republican candidates will have to dig deeper into social issues that mean more to women. However, it’s important to acknowledge that every woman is different and what is best for one woman might not be what’s best for another. That’s why it’s important to encourage intellectual diversity and for women to think for themselves instead of listening to what others think is what’s best for them. In the end, only you know what’s best for you, and your ballot should reflect that.

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