An overlooked aspect of the 2020 presidential election is that rather than growing by leaps and bounds, as predicted, the gender gap held steady.
Yes, women favored the Democrat over the Republican, as they have since the term “gender gap” came into prominence during the Reagan years, when it was first spotted and analyzed.
But the percentage remained virtually the same as in other recent elections. The Democrat didn’t attract a larger percentage of women’s vote because of Donald Trump, predictions to the contrary.
A headline in the AP reported that the gender gap “held steady,” but we are indebted to Jazz Shaw for noticing and commenting perceptively on the implications:
We were told repeatedly that 2020 was going to be “the year of the women,” and they would decisively break for Biden while abandoning Donald Trump in droves. The numbers are in, however, and the picture they paint is almost a duplicate of 2016. Female voters did break in Biden’s favor while the male vote went to Trump, but the ladies went for Biden as almost the exact same percentage as they did for Hillary Clinton. The “Women for Trump” vote was real and they held the line just as they did four years ago. (Associated Press)
There were, however, slight changes in the vote, as so far counted, that did have an effect on the results:
In other words, Biden saw a 1% gain among women voters as compared to how Democrats did in the 2018 midterms and the 2016 presidential race, as well as a 2% gain among men. That’s inside the margin of error for any set of predictions.
But it looks like that tiny percentage was just enough to take several swing states that Trump narrowly carried four years ago and flip them back into the blue column by similar slim margins. It was another very close race in the states and counties that mattered the most in terms of the electoral college, but the final numbers (if they are to be believed) fell the other way this time.
Meanwhile, 2020 is being hailed as “the year of Republican women” because of the record number of conservative women elected to Congress.
This doesn’t mean that conservatives can relax on making the case to women for the free market and liberty. But it does mean that 2020 was not the setback that pundits led many to believe.