Sex, race, gender, and the presidential vote

Article English OPEN
Susan B. Hansen (2016)
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group
  • Journal: Cogent Social Sciences (issn: 2331-1886)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1080/23311886.2016.1172936
  • Subject: race and gender | voting and elections | American politics | Social Sciences | H

Racial resentment has been shown to have a significant impact on voting by whites in recent presidential elections, and a much larger impact than the traditional gender-gap measure based on the male-female dichotomy. This analysis will use data from the American National Election Studies [ANES] to compare broader indicators of race and gender applicable to the Democratic and Republican parties as well as to respondents’ opinions of appropriate roles for women. Since the 1980s the parties have diverged considerably on abortion and women’s issues, and voters now view the Democrats as more supportive than Republicans of equality for women and reproductive rights. Perceptions of party differences on women’s issues strongly influenced vote choice, 1988–2008, and in 2008 had greater impact on whites’ votes than opinions on aid to blacks, abortion, gay marriage, or the economy. Although racial resentment was a strong predictor of the white vote in 2012 as in previous years, presidential voting was also significantly influenced by respondent sex as well as opinions on gender roles. Voters regarded the Democratic Party as “better for the interests of women,” and this proved to be a highly effective wedge issue for the Democrats in 2012.
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