Breaking Down the Women’s Vote: Part 1

The 2018 midterm elections are over.

Women turned out to vote, comprising more than half of voters. Female candidates notched a number of victories and accomplished many firsts.

Results are still coming in, but based on national exit polling reported by CNN, here’s what we know about how women voted in the 2018 midterm House races:

  • Turnout:

    • 52 percent: Women accounted for more than half percent of voters - matching 2016 levels.

 

  • Party:

    • Women move left: 59 percent of women identified as Democrats compared to 40 percent as Republicans. This marks a shift from the 54-44 percent split in 2016 and 51-47 split in 2014. 

    • Almost a quarter (23 percent) of the electorate were Democratic women compared 16 percent who identified as Republican women and 13 percent as Independent women.

    • Republican and Democratic women almost exclusively voted with their party, but Independent women voted for Democrats by 56 percent compared to 39 percent voting for Republicans.

 

  • Race and Party:

    • White women shift left: White women were split evenly between Democrats and Republicans (49-49 percent), but in 2014 and 2016 over half of white women (56 percent and 55 percent, respectively) identified as Republican.

    • Black women slightly move right: 7 percent of black women identified as Republican compared to 92 percent as Democrat. That is up 2 percentage points from their support in 2016 (5 percent) and nearly matches their 2014 support level (8 percent).

    • Hispanic women move left: One out of four (26 percent) of Hispanic women identified as Republican compared to 73 percent Democratic. This is down from 32 percent in 2014 and 30 percent in 2016.

 

  • Education and Race:

    • Turnout between white college and non-college women flipped from 2016: White non-college educated women outvoted white college-educated women (21-16 percent) this year. In 2016, 17 percent of white non-college women turned out to vote compared to 20 percent of their college-educated peers.

    • White non-college women continue to support conservatives, but less so: Over half (56 percent) of white non-college women supported Republicans over Democrats (42 percent), but this down from 63 percent in 2016.

    • Democrats solidify support among white college-educated women: 59 percent of white college-educated women voted Democratic over Republican (39 percent) and this is up from 49 percent in 2016.

 

  • Marital Status:

    • Married women flip: Democrats captured a slim majority of married women (54 - 44 percent), whereas Republicans carried half of married women (50 - 48 percent) in 2016 and more than half of them in 2014 (54 - 44 percent). 

    • Democrats expand support among unmarried women: Two out of three of unmarried women (66 - 31 percent) supported Democrats. This is up three percentage points from 2016 and 6 percentage points from 2014.

(Exit polling from 2016 and 2014 are available here and here.)

Stay tuned for more updates on the women's vote.



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