[Editor: the new Supermajority survey covered in this article is amazing – a must-read eye-opener. My suggestion: read it first, then read the NY Times analysis below. And for a more hard-hitting analysis, see The Guardian’s “New poll shows what really interests ‘pro-lifers’: controlling women” – R.S.]
A Flash Point for Women in Politics
The New York Times, by By Lisa Lerer, Aug. 19, 2019
Throughout the Trump administration, there has been a fair amount of attention paid to the influx of women into politics. Historic numbers of women ran for, and won, political office last November. Six women are running for the Democratic presidential nomination. And from the Women’s March to voter turnout, it’s clear that women — particularly Democrats — are engaged in American politics as never before.
But there has been far less focus on what, exactly, all these female voters want.
Now, some new polling conducted for the women’s political action group Supermajority, and shared first with On Politics, gives us a unique look at how women are shaping the political landscape — and how politics is shaping women’s lives.
“Women’s equality is at the forefront of people’s minds in a way that it hasn’t been ever in my history of looking at research and polling,” said Cecile Richards, the former Planned Parenthood president. “How candidates talk about these issues and think about them is really going to be influential in the coming elections.”
Supermajority, a nonpartisan organization, aims to train two million women to organize around political issues related to women’s equality. Part of that effort means asking about topics that are rarely addressed in political surveys — issues including gender equity and recent restrictions on abortion.
Here’s some of what they found.
On gender equality:
• There is a big partisan split over whether gender equality has been achieved: While 88 percent of Democratic women believe there is “still work to be done,” just 46 percent of Republican women agree.
On the recent abortion laws:
• The passage of new abortion laws, which essentially banned the procedure in a number of states, was a mobilizing moment for many female voters. Fifty-five percent of women said the recent laws made them think about the state of women’s rights and equality; 57 percent said they talked to friends or family about them.
On President Trump:
• Nearly every segment of female voters is more likely to think President Trump has made things worse for women, rather than better: Democratic women, 81 percent to 5 percent; Latinx women, 57 to 21; independent women, 47 to 25. Only Republican women disagree — 5 percent said he had made things worse for them, while 62 percent said better.
On the 2020 election:
• The survey asked which issues are “extremely important” in the presidential election. Climate change was an answer for 65 percent of Democratic women, and 14 percent of Republican women. Conversely, illegal immigration was a response for 72 percent of Republicans, and 43 percent of Democrats.