The true political power of women will be on display in November

Democrats have a 12 point advantage over the GOP in generic polling, and they're eager to use it

By Matthew Rozsa
Published January 22, 2018 10:17AM (EST)
 (Salon/Peter Cooper)
(Salon/Peter Cooper)

Women demonstrated their political power this weekend by protesting en masse, with early reports indicating that more than a million women took to the streets this weekend. According to The New York Times, 200,000 people appeared for the Women's March in New York City, 300,000 turned out in Chicago and 600,000 in Los Angeles.

But the political awakening may wind up having another major impact — and it could cost the Republican Party in a big way during the 2018 midterm elections.

Fifty-seven percent of female voters support Democrats on a generic congressional ballot, compared to only 31 percent supporting Republicans, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. This is twice as large a gap as existed between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election, one that is almost entirely attributable to the shift in white women's sentiments toward the GOP. Although nonwhite women "only" favor Democratic candidates by a margin of 53 percentage points (10 points less than the margin by which nonwhite women voted for Clinton over Trump), white women support Democrats over Republicans by 12 points. During the 2016 presidential election, Trump won the white female vote with a 53-43 margin.

Just as noteworthy, men continue to be in the Republican camp, with the GOP having a 9 percentage point advantage over Democrats.

Overall the Republican Party's midterm prospects appear to be very bleak. Fifty-one percent of registered voters said they would support their Democratic candidate while only 39 percent said they would support the Republican candidate. This advantage of 12 percentage points is the largest in the history of the Washington Post-ABC News poll and could pose especially bad news for Republicans: Democrats are only expected to need a six- to eight-point advantage in the polls in order to win the 24 seats they'll need to reclaim control of the House of Representatives.

"This is the most important election of our lifetimes, coming up this year. If everybody sort of gets together and rebukes these abuses of power and says, Look, we disagree on some things, but this behavior is unacceptable, and the Democrats sweep — you know, complete control of House and Senate —  and then start to write into law the things that used to be democratic norms, that Trump's violated, we could actually have a strengthening of American democracy over the long term," Brian Klaas, a Fellow in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics, told Salon earlier this month.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2018 Midterm Elections Donald Trump Female Vote Women Women Vote