Women making history: Partisanship trumps gender for women

This post is one of a series of posts in observance of Women’s History Month.

2018 was a strong year for women in politics, and men and woman applauded the victories. In a December 2018 survey of self-identified midterm voters conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group for the Women & Politics Institute at American University, two-thirds of registered women said the record number of women elected to Congress was a good thing, 29 percent said neither good nor bad, and only 5 percent said it was a bad thing. In a separate question, 37 percent of women said the right number had been elected, 56 percent too few, and 7 percent too many. Republicans have not been as preoccupied with identity politics as Democrats, and they differed in their responses to the question. Fifty-nine percent of Republican women said the right number and 33 percent said too few. For Democratic women, those responses were 27 percent right number and 69 percent too few.

In another question, 80 percent of women said while they liked the idea of more women in office, the sex of a candidate did not make any difference to them. Only 20 percent said they made it a top priority to vote for women. In one of the survey’s most striking findings, 71 percent of women said they agreed with the statement, “I like the idea of having more women in political office, but when I go to cast my vote, the thing that matters most to me is whether the candidate is a Democrat or a Republican, not whether they are a man or a woman.” Party trumps gender. Female solidarity at the ballot box is a mirage.