May 15, 2020: The non-partisan civic education organization All in Together has teamed up with Lake Research Partners and Emerson College Polling to deliver the most comprehensive study to date of women voters in 2020 as they adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first survey of the study looked at 1,000 registered women voters nationwide from May 8-9 with a +/-3% margin of error.
The survey found women are highly motivated to vote but there are an array of factors impacting how they will vote. Deep divisions exist between women voters – especially between those who have lost their jobs because of COVID or lost wages because of COVID.
Women of all political orientations are highly likely to vote in November 2020 however Republican women are more likely than Democratic women. White women overall are also more committed to voting (88.5% vs 82% overall).
Women Voters who have lost jobs or wages due to COVID-19
Though a majority of women voters who have lost their job supported Trump in 2016 (50% compared to 42% who supported Clinton), losing their job is not enough to pull female Trump voters away from supporting the President, as they are currently still breaking for him, 51% to 44%.
A different pattern emerges for voters who have lost their wages. These women broke for Clinton in 2016 by 17 points, and currently break for Biden at a higher rate, 53%, compared to 31% who support President Trump.
Women voters who have lost their jobs due to COVID continue to find President Trump favorable (49%) vs. Biden (32%). These women differ from the general voting population in that 43% think of themselves as Republicans, 36% identify as Democrats and 19% are independent (vs. 45% Democrat, 19% Independent, 29% Republican overall).
These women Trump voters are more Southern, more suburban (60%, compared to 49% overall) vs Urban (22%, compared to 30% overall) more likely to earn less than $50K (44.8% vs 34.7%), more likely to have an associate’s degree (26% vs 9%), and more likely to be 50-64 (35.7% vs 24.9%) than women overall.
Nearly 70% say they have a very important role protecting their family and community, and similarly 71% reported that their vote really matters. These women voters also report higher struggles to manage work and family obligations at 54% (vs. 37% of women overall).
Women voters who have lost wagesvoters are more favorable toward Biden (55%) than Trump (32%), and voted Democratic by 30 points in 2018, voted for Obama by 14 points, and Clinton by 18 points.
These female lost wages voters are more likely to be 30-49 years old (59.7% vs 32.5% overall), more likely to be Some college but no degree or college grad (27.5% and 25.2% vs 15.9% and 19.5% overall), more likely to earn less than $50K (44.7% vs 34.7%), more likely to be married (56.1% vs 46%), more likely to be Latina (24.9% vs 15.5%), and more likely to be urban 38.4% vs 29.9%).
These women rank equality (30%) as their top value, and they are more uncertain about voting this year (65%) but are more likely to support a candidate on social media (62%).
The survey found 45% of these lost wages voters are struggling to manage work and family obligations, 49% said that COVID-19 has really increased the care they give their children and 47% said they have increased care for their spouses.
Women Voters struggling to manage work and family obligations amidst COVID-19
Among women voters who are struggling to manage their work and family obligations, there is a higher propensity to donate to a political campaign (33%) and to support a political candidate on social media (50%).
These women voters are united in perceiving themselves to have a very important role in protecting their families and communities (60%). Their top values are individual freedom (27%) and security (25%).
Struggling Women voters are more likely to have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 crisis (27%). The COVID-19 crisis has also increased the amount of care these women are providing to their children (50%), spouse/partner (28%), and parents or other relatives (28%).
These voters have swung from supporting Obama by 19 points in 2012, to supporting Trump by 4 points in 2016 and back to supporting the Democrats in 2018 by 6 points. Currently, they are breaking toward Trump 48% to 44%, another sign that some swing women voters continue to support the President despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The political ideology of this group is 51% liberal, 8% moderate, and 41% conservative. These women tend to be more likely than women overall to feel favorable toward Trump (50% vs 40.5%); split between favorable and unfavorable. They are slightly less likely than women overall to feel favorable toward Biden (47% vs 52%).
Compared to women overall those struggling most to manage work and home are pretty similar to women overall on age, although slightly more likely to be seniors, more likely to be college-educated (35.7% vs 19.5%), more likely to have a household income below $50K (44.5% vs 34.7%), more likely to be divorced (21.6% vs 12.6%), more likely to be Black and Latina (50% vs. 27.9%), more likely to be urban (46.5% vs. 29.9%).
African American women solidly supporting Biden
The African American female vote is the base for Democrats and is the most solid voting bloc for Biden, breaking for Biden with 83% compared to 14% for Trump. Further demonstrating the loyalty to the party nominee, 90% report that they are strongly supporting Biden, compared to 64% of white Biden voters reporting strong support and 26% of Latinx Biden voters reporting strong support. The African-American women voters’ top values are tradition (27%) and security (25%).
This key group of swing voters is very different from either African American or white women. They report being overburdened and under-engaged.
The Latinx female voter is unique in their values rating individual freedom (32%), morality (25%), and equality (29%) as their top values.
This group is slightly more likely to volunteer (25% compared to 20% of women overall) for a political candidate, but less likely to donate (9% compared to 24% of women overall). Generally speaking they are less politically involved, being slightly less likely to support a candidate on social media (38% compared to 42% of women overall) and significantly less likely to contact an elected official (17% compared to 35% of women overall).
Further demonstrating their attitude toward political involvement, 38% report strong agreement that political participation matters now more than ever to protect the country and their families (compared to 56% of women overall). Similarly, 38% strongly agree that their vote matters now more than ever to make sure the United States goes in the right direction (compared to 64% women overall).
These voters are more likely to have lost wages due to the coronavirus, with 23% reporting lost income compared to 14% of women overall.
These voters are also struggling between work and family. Fifty-seven percent (57%) are struggling a lot or somewhat to manage work and family (compared to 37% women overall). Thirty-seven percent 37% say the COVID-19 crisis increased the amount of care they are providing to their children a lot (compared to 18% of women overall). Thirty-eight percent say the COVID-19 crisis increased the amount of care they are providing their parents or other relatives either a lot or somewhat (compared to 30% of women overall).
However, all this leads to these Latina voters being less interested in the election – 20% are definitely not going to vote (compared to 4% of women overall).
Voters that are currently undecided for November’s election have historically been split between parties. In 2016, those who voted chose 3rd party 37% of time, Trump 28%, and Clinton 8% of the time. In the 2018 midterms, they broke for the Democrats 29% to 24%.
When forced to decide who they are leaning towards for this November, they appear ready to break for Biden 63% to 37%. However, getting these voters to show up at the polls in November will be a challenge, as a third (33%) of undecided voters report not voting in 2018, and 16% did not vote in the 2016 election.
This group is mostly likely to categorize themselves not as Independents (19%), but rather as having no political affiliation (28%) at all.
The All In Together/Emerson College poll was conducted May 8-9, 2020. The sample consisted of registered Democratic, Republican, and Independent voters, n=1000, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by age, ethnicity, education, and region based on US Census data and 2012, 2016 and 2018 turnout models based on exit polling and Census reports.. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity, and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines (n=344), SMS-to-web text panel (n=314) and an online panel provided by MTurk (n=343).