Perhaps more surprisingly as we head into the heart of the primary season, the same is true when it comes to sex. Even after a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion was leaked that would overturn Roe v. Wade, there are signs of a narrowing gender gap among voters.
Republicans are poised to do much better with women than they did in the last midterm elections in 2018.
Every two years, I have a tradition of writing about the widening gender gap before the election. I did this in 2016, 2018, and 2020. All of those cycles had big differences in voting between men and women, although those variations tended to be larger at this point than actually happened.
That margin may seem large (and it’s not small), but it was 29 points by the average of those same polls at this point four years ago. (CNN’s aggregate polls from late 2019 put the gender gap in a clash between Biden and former President Donald Trump at 34 points even wider.)
The smallest current divide is disproportionately due to female voters. While Republicans are 4 points better in men than at this point in 2018, they are 13 points better in women.
I also looked at the polls that were fully conducted after the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would end Roe v. Wade. The Democratic lead among women in the race for Congress is the same 7 points in these polls as it is in the broader average.
That could change if Roe is knocked down. Yet the gender gap on abortion is significantly smaller than on other issues, so such a scenario would likely affect voting trends for men and women equally.
One reason women are likely less favorably disposed toward Democratic candidates: their feelings toward Biden. According to Gallup, Biden’s approval rating among women has risen from 62% at the start of his presidency to 46% now. This 16-point drop is greater than the 11-point drop Biden has experienced with the men.
Indeed, Biden’s 10-point Gallup approval gender gap last month was 5 points lower than Trump’s 15-point gap in April 2018, even though they had broadly the same approval rating. approval.
Plus, Republican gains with women aren’t just about polls and voters. It’s about who is standing for election. Republicans have made an effort to recruit more female candidates, including a group launched in April to elect more female GOP governors. There are currently only three.
Next week, Governor Kay Ivey and former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders are the favorites to win the Republican nomination for governor of Alabama and Arkansas, respectively. And they would be very likely to win the general election in the fall.
This follows Oregon’s Republican primary for governor, where state Rep. Christine Drazan is currently in the lead and the runner-up candidate conceded.
Indeed, I count at least three strong pick-up opportunities for GOP female candidates in this year’s gubernatorial races. There’s Trump-backed Lake Kari in Arizona, Sanders in Arkansas and former Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch in Wisconsin. Lake and Kleefisch must pass the primaries and then win the general election in the swing states.
But if all three win, there could be six Republican female governors serving concurrently in 2023. (Ivey and Governors Kim Reynolds of Iowa and Kristi Noem of South Dakota are favored for re-election this year.) That would be a record.
Donald Trump may be embarrassed on Tuesday
The good news
for Trump is that his endorsed nominee in Arkansas (Huckabee Sanders) will likely score a huge victory. The bad news is that the gubernatorial primaries nationwide have been a bit of a low point for him in 2022, and next week should add to that.
Trump has decided to support former US Senator David Perdue in his main Republican challenge against Governor Brian Kemp in Georgia. Kemp had certified Georgia’s 2020 presidential vote in favor of Biden, which Trump falsely called illegitimate. Perdue echoed Trump’s lies.
Kemp enters Election Day with a big lead and momentum. A Fox poll released Wednesday put Kemp up 60% to 28%, more than enough to avoid a runoff that would be needed if the winner gets less than a majority of votes. That 32-point lead for Kemp is up from an 11-point advantage the same Fox poll found for him in March.
While Trump’s endorsement may have given Perdue a chance, the latest Fox poll found just 25% of Republican voters said being a strong Trump supporter was hugely important to their vote. That, simply, isn’t enough to try to beat a popular starter. Kemp’s favorable rating in the poll was 72%.
A loss for Perdue would mark the third loss in three weeks for Trump in the major gubernatorial primaries. This week in Idaho, its endorsed nominee (Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin) was kicked out of the GOP primary by incumbent Governor Brad Little. Two weeks ago, Charles Herbster lost his bid for the GOP nomination for governor of Nebraska.
Although Trump did not endorse Alabama’s gubernatorial election, Ivey would not be one of his preferred candidates. He even tried to recruit someone to run against her, according to reports. Yet Ivey, who possesses embraced a pro-Trump message, is poised to win its primary, more likely than not without a runoff.
We saw a somewhat similar situation play out in Ohio a few weeks ago. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine brushed off challenges from several candidates who accused him of not being friendly enough with Trump. None of these candidates had Trump’s explicit support, and they lost.
But perhaps the biggest embarrassment for Trump could come from a Senate primary on Tuesday. Trump initially endorsed U.S. Representative Mo Brooks to be Alabama’s next senator. He withdrew that endorsement in March when polls showed Brooks in a distant third place and he was unlikely to even make a runoff in the Republican primary.
Since Trump decided to drop Brooks, Brooks has climbed in the polls and now has about a 50% chance of making the runoff.
For your brief encounters: Do you like horse racing?
The Preakness Stakes, the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, takes place this weekend. One of the first questions Gallup ever asked was what was people’s favorite sport to watch. In 1937, horse racing came fifth at 5%. It beat football (less than 1%) and tennis (3%) among other sports.
Today, horse racing is a relative spot on the radar. Less than 1% of Americans listed horse racing as their favorite sport in a 2017 Washington Post-UMass Lowell poll. More than a dozen sports beat it to America’s favorite.
Remnants of surveys
A Political Supreme Court: A clear majority of Americans (63%) think the US Supreme Court is primarily driven by politics, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University. Only 32% said it was mainly the law that motivated judges. In 2018, when Quinnipiac first asked the question, the margin was much narrower (50% politics versus 42% law).
Race relations: Forty-one percent of Americans say they worry a lot about race relations in America, Gallup found in March. That’s down slightly from 48% in March 2021. Still, that 41% is the third-highest figure found in March Gallup data dating back to the start of this century.
Ron DeSantis, a rare and not unpopular politician: An NBC News poll found that 28% of Americans had a positive opinion of the governor of Florida, compared to 26% with a negative opinion. This distribution of more than 2 points meant that he was the only active American politician or political party with a positive distribution in the survey.