Election 2022 – Gender Gaps in Voting and Motivation

Women have been increasingly outvoting men in the midterm elections since the 1980s. But when it comes to 2022, at this point men say they are more likely to vote.  Almost three quarters of men say they are almost certain to vote in the election in November, while 61% of women say they are almost certain to vote. This is a low point for voting since we started polling.

When it comes to motivation, men again edge out women at this point in the election cycle –seven in ten men are very motivated to vote in the November elections (86% motivated, 70% very motivated), whereas about six in ten women are very motivated to vote (80% motivated, only 59% very motivated).

However, the low motivation among women varies greatly among groups. White women, rural women, and Republican women are the most likely to be very motivated to vote in November. Democrats should take notice. Latinas and AAPI women feel less intensely motivated than other subgroups.

Senior women are feeling the most intensely motivated to vote, followed by women voters ages 50 to 64. About half of women ages 30 to 49 and less than a third of women ages 18 to 29 are very motivated to vote.

Despite Low Motivation–Voters are Paying Attention

About half of women voters and men voters report they are paying more attention to politics compared to a year ago.

Republican women are even more likely than other subgroups of women to say they are paying more attention to politics compared to a year ago. They are motivated and engaged. Independents are unique in that they split while most other groups believe they are paying more attention.

The youngest and the oldest age cohorts of women voters are slightly more likely to believe they are paying more attention to politics compared to a year ago.

Impact of major issues

Voting Rights and Access to the Ballot

Despite a wave of regressive changes to state voting laws across the United States, a plurality of women and men voters believe there will be no difference in voting access in November 2022. Those who see a difference split between harder to vote and easier to vote.

Across race, urbanicity, and partisanship, women voters believe there will be no difference in voting access. A third of Latinas and urban women believe it will be easier to vote in November 2022. Black women say it will be both easier and harder.

Our poll also found no regional differences between these numbers.

Ukraine

Voters divide on whom they trust to address the war in Ukraine. Again, men and women are split on who they trust more to address the war in Ukraine — Joe Biden and the Democrats or Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress (men; 37% and 35% respectively, women; 32% and 36% respectively).

Again, across race, urbanicity, and party identification, women voters fall back on partisan cues when considering who they can trust to address the war in Ukraine. More Democratic subgroups – AAPI women, Black women, urban women, and Democrats – trust Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats. More Republican subgroups – white women, rural women, and Republican women – trust Trump and Congressional Republicans. Independent women split between Democrats, Republicans, and neither party. Suburban women voters lean toward trusting Republicans more, but only by 6 points over Democrats. Conversely, Latina women voters lean toward trusting Democrats more, but only by 7 points over Republicans.

Education Curriculum

Overall, women voters and men voters split in their attitudes toward curriculum in public schools – with about half siding with a more conservative approach and half siding with a more liberal approach.

There are stark differences across race, urbanity, and partisanship. AAPI women, Black women, Latina women, urban women, and Democrats side with the more progressive position. White women, rural women, Independent women, and Republican women side more with the conservative position. Suburban women side with the progressive position, but only by 4 points. Importantly, Independent women side with the conservative position by 10 points.

Partisanship

As we have seen, partisanship colors so much of voters’ attitudes today.

White women voters identify as Republican by 16 points, while AAPI women voters, Black women voters, and Latina women voters, identify as Democrats by wide margins.

About half of urban women are Democrats, while about half of rural women are Republicans. Suburban women split between Democrat, Republican, and Independent. Younger women tend to be more Democratic than Republican. Pre-retirement women split fairly evenly between Republican, Independent, and Democratic, with more Republicans than Democrats. Fewer women 65 and older are Independents/Other, and this age demographic is more closely divided between Democrats and Republicans.

Data can be made available on request, please email AIT’s Director of Research at pelangovan@aitogether.org.

Methodology

The survey was administered by Emerson College Polling and advised by Lake Research Partners. Data was collected March 29-31, 2022. The national sample was n=1000 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/-3%. The survey also oversampled 400 Black voters, 400 Latino/a voters, and 400 Asian American/Pacific Islander voters (margin of error of +/-4.9% for all oversamples). The oversamples were weighted down to reflect their actual proportion in the national sample. The data sets were weighted by age, ethnicity, party affiliation, education, gender, and region based on 2020 voter turnout model. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, ethnicity, and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using a cellphone sample of SMS-to-web, an online panel, and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines.