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November 9 2017

The Gender Gap in the Virginia Race

by Charlotte Hays

The gender gap was alive and well Tuesday in Virginia.

Seventy-seven percent of unmarried women cast their votes for the Democrat Ralph Northam.

Overall, Northam won the women's vote by 22 points, increasing the gap over Hillary Clinton's 17 points in last year's presidential election.

Republicans generally fare better among married women, but that was not the case Tuesday in Virginia: married women gave Northam 54 percent to Gillespie's 44 percent.

White female college graduates went for Northam by 16 points; this was a demographic that divided evenly in Virginia's 2013 gubernatorial election.

Men tend to favor Republicans, but this was a very slight advantage for Gillespie--he won men by two points, a sharp decline from Donald Trump's nine-point advantage last year.

You can see the Washington Post's breakdown here.

It has been suggested that the gender gap reflects more than anything else how the voter views government. Unmarried women, a dependable constituency for the Democrats, are likely to support government programs.

So that gap was typical. But even the usual Republican constituencies did not give Ed Gillespie, an extremely attractive candidate, enough support to at least make him competitive.

The key factor in what turned out to be a debacle for Republicans might have been hatred for President Trump in an increasingly blue state, coupled with the Democrats' unusually nasty campaign that smeared Republicans as racists.

The New York Times has an interesting piece proposing that the election results (and not just in Virginia) represent a "revolt of the suburbs" against President Trump and that this threatens the GOP majorities in Congress. The other depressing takeaway might be that identity politics worked for the Democrats in Virginia.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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