The 2016 presidential election will be decided by women and those who support them, according to a new report published this week by Ms.
The report builds on decades of study on the gender gap, or the ways in which men and women vote differently on political issues and for political candidates. The gender gap has played a pivotal role in recent U.S. elections including the 2012 reelection of President Barack Obama. Women have been consistently more likely to vote and more likely to vote for Democratic candidates.
The new Ms. report predicts that the 2016 election will likely have the largest gender gap in history. As a result, it concludes that women have more power than ever before to elect the next president and shape the national agenda.
“The numbers of registered women voters continue to outpace those of men,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority and the first to identify the gender gap over 30 years ago. “This report demonstrates that when women go to the polls, they bring their unique experiences and perspectives with them.”
The Ms. report compiled data on topics from economic equality to LGBT rights and national security to show the ways in which women’s viewpoints differ from those of men on priority issues in the 2016 election.
In addition to the gender gap, the Ms. report also pinpoints a “feminist factor,” the correlation between voters’ views on feminism and their choices of candidates. The research shows that feminists are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates. With a growing number of both women and men in the U.S. identifying as feminists, the report predicts that the feminist factor will be an additional, critical influence on election outcomes in 2016 and beyond.
“Candidates need to know that by committing to action on women’s concerns, they don’t risk losing the male vote,” said report author and Ms. executive editor Katherine Spillar. “This research shows that women and feminists will continue to lead in the political arena.”
The full report is available online: http://www.msmagazine.com/magazine/betting-on-the-gender-gap.html