Women continued their long streak of out-voting men in presidential elections, according to new data from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Women voted in higher raw numbers and in greater proportions than their male counterparts in the 2020 presidential election, with women casting nearly 10 million more votes than men and 68.4% of eligible adult women casting a ballot, while 65% of eligible men voted. These data points, combined with the significant gender gap in vote choice in the 2020 presidential election, as shown in our presidential vote choice fact sheet, illustrate the pivotal role that women played in the election of Joe Biden and the defeat of Donald Trump.
CAWP has also launched a brand-new element of our women voter resources and now tracks polling on current events and public policy on our Gender Differences in Public Opinionfact sheet.
“CAWP has long tracked gender gaps in voter turnout, but our newly overhauled Gender Differences in Voter Turnout fact sheet expands our data on these differences and provides data disaggregated by several different sub-groups.,” said Claire Gothreau, the lead research associate on this project. “Furthermore, our new Gender Differences in Public Opinion fact sheet includes data points by gender and partisanship, as well as gender and race and ethnicity. These data tell a nuanced story about how gender intersects with other identities to shape the contours of American public opinion.”
Comparing differences in turnout across race/ethnicity, age group, educational attainment, and marital status both between and among genders yields new insights that challenge simplistic narratives about women voters. Some key takeaways:
Turnout increased from 2016 among men and women across all racial and ethnic groups, although the largest increases were among Asian American voters and Hispanic voters.Reported voter turnout increased across all age groups, particularly among younger voters (18 to 44). Voter turnout among voters age 18 to 24 was up by almost 8 percentage points among women and 9 percentage points among men compared to 2016.Among citizens with less than a 9th grade education, men have historically turned out at slightly higher rates than women. In 2020, women in this group reported voting at higher rates – 38.2% vs. 37%.Consistent with trends over time, the gender gap among married voters tends to be very small, but the gender gap among voters who have never married was 7.4 percentage points, with 60.5% of women reporting that they voted vs. 53.1% of men.
Find more data, as well as new visualizations and comparisons over time, at our Gender Differences in Voter Turnout page.
CAWP has also enhanced its tracking of data on gender differences in public opinion polling. These gender differences have been a feature of American politics for many years. We now detail these differences with data from a variety of surveys and include a Current Issues section and a series of sections on topics of recurring interest in American politics. The Current Issues section is regularly updated and includes timely questions about early opinions of the Biden administration, the health of American democracy, conspiracy theories, and societal attitudes about transgender discrimination and equality. Recurring topics track public opinion data including Domestic and International Force (gun control, military intervention, criminal justice issues), Social Welfare (healthcare, poverty programs, social security), Reproductive Rights, Equity Issues (LGBTQ equality, racial equality, immigration), and Environmental Policy.
Explore the data at our Gender Differences in Public Opinion page and see all of our fact sheets on the gender gap in vote choice, turnout, registration, and public opinion, as well as historical CAWP data and analysis on women voters, here.
The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is nationally recognized as the leading source of scholarly research and current data about women’s political participation in the United States. Its mission is to promote greater knowledge and understanding about the role of women in American politics, enhance women’s influence in public life, and expand the diversity of women in politics and government. CAWP’s education and outreach programs translate research findings into action, addressing women’s under-representation in political leadership with effective, intersectional, and imaginative programs serving a variety of audiences. As the world has watched Americans considering female candidates for the nation’s highest offices, CAWP’s five decades of analyzing and interpreting women’s participation in American politics have provided a foundation and context for the discussion.