DemDaily: The Power and Perplexity of White Women Voters

March 12, 2019

White women make up one of the largest voting blocks in the United States and are a critical target constituency in the 2020 presidential election.

According to national exit pollsWhite Women Voters made up 37% of the 2018 electorate, and were split even, 49%-49%, between those who voted Democrat versus Republican

Winning White Women Voters
NewFounders, a group of politically motivated, tech-driven groups and leaders, conducted an extensive analysis of the history, voting trends and motivations of white women voters.

The end result is an in-depth action paper for campaigns, candidates and organizations seeking to identify voter trends in advance of races in 2019 and 2020, including engagement strategies, and a suggested path forward.

Highlights
The Presidential: The paper starts with debunking the national exit polls, stating the final 2016 numbers show 45% of white women voters cast their ballots for Trump, compared to exit polls placing him with a majority with 53%.

In an historical context, that is good news for Democrats. Comparatively, Mitt Romney received 56% in 2012, John McCain 55% in 2008 and George W. Bush 55% in 2004.

The Dividers that drive white women voters are Religion, Education, Marital Status, Soci-Economic Status, Generational Sexism, Partisanship, Independentversus Interdependent World View and Media Conditioning.

Progress and Potential
By New Founders' numbers, a larger 40% of the 2018 electorate was white women.

Highly educated white women are consistent Democratic voters. From 2008 to 2014, white college educated women split for Republicans by a small margin. In 2018, they voted for Democratic candidates by a 16-point margin.

The Biggest Female Partisan Divides: Minimum Wage, the Affordable Care Act and Abortion

Women in the suburbs are voting Democratic at higher rates. In the 2014 midterm elections, college educated, middle-aged suburbanites voted Republican by a 21-point margin. 2016 saw a major shift, with only a 5 point-margin for Republican candidates.

While American voters held tighter to party affiliations in 2018, those identified as independent white women voters, including leaning Democratics and Republicans, voted 56% for Democrats, up from 37% in 2106.

Non-married white women show tremendous capacity for growth. In 2016, this group voted Democratic by a 3-point margin. In 2018, non-married womenmade up 16% of the total electorate and supported Democrats by a 19-point margin. More than six in ten unmarried women in the US are white.

Learn More about New Founders
White Women Voters paper authored by contributors from New Founders, New Conservation Project, Fund Her, Voter Participation Center, Kulkarni for Congress, Swayable, UC Berkely, Data for Progress, GALvanizeUSA, The Democracy Labs, Data for Progress, Tufts University and the Analyst Institute

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