Skip to main content

tv   Women Voters1920-2016  CSPAN  August 20, 2020 6:58pm-8:00pm EDT

6:58 pm
archways and the stone work. it is just phenomenal. most times peoples jaws just drop when they first see it. >> politicians and media have been researching the way women vote since passage of the 19th amendment. 100 years ago this month. up next, a look at the accuracy of the assumptions about women voters up to the 2016 election. the first to feature a feat female presidential candidate from a major party. part of american history tv here on c-span three. >> good evening, everyone. i think there is a few more people in here with a little bit more robust good evening. before we welcome our guest, good evening everyone! >> good evening! >> yes!
6:59 pm
my name is theo tyson. it is my distinct and sincere pleasure to welcome you and our speaker christina wolbrecht, this evening. before we begin, i want you to please take note of the two emergency exits that are marked at the front and rear of the room. if you will also take a moment to please silence your cellphones so that we do not disrupt this fascinating top. while you are doing that, i would love to share with you and installation that i have recently curated on our north while entitled anti suffrage. using materials from he boston athenaeum special collections, we take a look at how the suffrage movement contributed to be designing women's roles and responsibilities and society from various perspectives as they abide for quality. it represents the complexities
7:00 pm
to secure and protect voting rights for women and people of color in the past and today. please take a look after the top. i'd love to hear your feedback. if you have any questions i'll be here to answer them. i should also mention that we have a large exhibition in our gallery across the way, required reading, reimagining a colonial library. that particular exhibition showcases rarely seen historical books from 17th century boston. community partners and each of us, including you are asked to consider which books should be considered required readings today. are some fascinating and important choices in there by a variety of different community partners and there is a place for you to share your own ideas as well. free gallery and mission to the anti suffrage and required reading exhibition are one of the many benefits of the membership here as he boston
7:01 pm
athenaeum, and we are grateful to all of our members for this. how many of your members and how many of your visitors? wow. welcome back to all of our members and welcome in to all of our visitors. we are glad you are here. you are welcome to tore the gallery and pick up a newsletter. find out about the myriad events we plan here at the front desk. you can join the boston athenaeum as a member, and if you are thinking about it, we also have day passes available now. come in, check it out. chalk with us. spend some time and we hope to see you back again. now, christina wolbrecht. he is a professor political science, director of the ramy center for the study of american democracy, and director of the washington program at the university of notre dame. in addition to the book that you will discuss tonight, she is the author and coal author of counting women's talents,
7:02 pm
female voters from suffrage through the new deal and the politics of women. women's rights. physicians and change. as well as myriad articles on women as political rolemodels, the representation of women and party positions on education policy. how have american women voted in the first 100 years since the ratification of the 19th amendment? how have popular understandings of women as voters persisted and changed overtime? in a century of votes for women, our speaker tonight offers an unprecedented account of women voters in american politics over the last ten decades. please join me in offering an exceptionally warm welcome to christina wolbrecht. (applause) >> thank you so much.
7:03 pm
it's such an honor and a thrill for me to be. here i always imagined it would be like all like this all the time. this is not what my office looks. like in my dreams, this is what my office looks like. this is a really exciting day for me to be here, talking to all of you. this is a release day for a century of votes for women: american elections since suffrage. (applause) >> thank you. i'm excited to be here and talking to you about that book today. as you probably know, 2020 is the centennial of women's suffrage. it has been 100 years. since the 19th amendment prohibited the denial of voting rights on the thesis of sex. again, with the 19 amendment did, since that time, of course the question on everyone's minds, journalists, voters themselves, definitely politicians, what would women voters do? what should we expect of women
7:04 pm
voters? what we see when we look over this 100-year period is lots and lots of ideas about what it is women are going to do. how impactful they are going to be as voters. the kind of things that might affect their voting behavior. the headlines on here date from -- the petticoat one is from 1928. the emotions of 1956 down to the 16 ways of looking at a female voter from 2008. women may decide the election, which is from 2016. i do promise you in this we will start into the 20s but we will get to 2016. maybe even 2020 by the end. what i want to do is use a couple of examples of some conventional wisdom about women voters overtime that has shaped our thinking about women. and their impact on politics in the united states. one of the things i hope you'll take away from this is to think
7:05 pm
about the ways in which what we believe about women voters is in some way, some ways, as important as what women voters actually do. if we think of women voters and politicians, think of women voters as say, soccer moms. white women living in suburbs and driving mini vans. they will craft their appeals. it will design public policy. all in a ways to try to appeal to what they have in mind as a woman voter. we know however, that white married women in the suburbs are not a very large proportion of the female electorate. they have become less so overtime. again, i want to help us think about, what do we think we know about women voters and would do actually know? i'm going to start with a very first, what i like to call the twitter hot takes about women in the early 19 twenties. the very first conventional wisdom about women voters with
7:06 pm
this idea that women's suffrage was a failure. these are headlines from 1923 and 1924. this might be the only top you see this year. one of the headlines is from good housekeeping. as well as the washington post, harpers magazine, etc. it was not just journalists who concluded almost immediately after the 19th amendment that women's suffrage had been a failure. this was something that scholars tended to believe as well. the reasons i can talk more about -- we actually have very little data about women voters in the period immediately after suffrage. as you probably are aware, citizens do not place pink and blue ballots into ballot boxes. we do not actually, for the official voting record, have a way to know how men and women voted. there is one exception to that, which is illinois, because of the unusual way they use enfranchised women. they actually did call men's
7:07 pm
and women's ballots differently. what that means is that virtually everything that we know about how women voted comes from one state and two elections. right? before george gallup and everyone else is going to events survey research in the 19 thirties and forties. we see this and popular history. frederick allen only esther there was a popular historian in the 1920s. the american woman when the suffrage in 1920. she seemed, it is true, to be very little interested and what she had -- i think i just skipped. no, i did not. so, what do we actually know? in some ways, we can kind of excuse oppose observers of the 1920s. they did not have much to go on. with this graph is going to show you is overtime, from 1920
7:08 pm
to 1936, those five elections, the turnout rates of men involved in gold and women in purple. as you can see, in the first elections after women won the right to vote, there is quite a gap. it's about 30 something points between the turnout of men, which in 1920 is almost 70% of men, turning out to vote. this is from a sample of ten states that i will show you in just one minute. about a third of women in that first election after the 19th amendment are turning out to vote. in some sense, it looks like there is some truth to this story, that women, most women did not actually choose to use that new right once they had. the story gets a little bit more complicated if we start to look at different groups of women. that is going to be another theme of my top. to talk about the women voter makes almost no sense in american politics. here, i want to talk about
7:09 pm
women depending upon where they lived. this is showing you turn out of, again, women in purple and men in gold, in ten american states. i'm going to try and speak, i cannot read it very well. virginia is at the end. massachusetts is next. connecticut, oklahoma, minnesota, kansas, illinois, iowa, missouri, and kentucky. what i hope you can see is that there is a huge variation depending on where you lived and what women's turnout looked like in 1920. in some places, women's turnout was incredibly low. fewer than 10% of women turned out to vote in virginia in 1920. only a little bit higher, just around 20% here in massachusetts and connecticut. on the other hand, there were other places where the turnout of women was actually quite impressive. more than half of women took advantage of the right to vote, the first time they were able
7:10 pm
to do so in both missouri and kentucky. the question is, what is different about missouri and kentucky, compared to massachusetts, virginia and connecticut? what is happening in these three different states? we have patterns among men. turnout is much higher here on your right. then on my left. what are the things that this data reminds us of? the united states, we have the right to vote, but the obligation rests almost entirely upon the individual. you have got to register yourself. you have got to get to a polling place. you have got to know him to vote. you have got to, maybe in some places, pay a poll tax, or register far in advance of the election. what that means is that different groups capacity to overcome barriers and differences in the barriers that they face are going to
7:11 pm
explain a lot about how much people vote, and how likely they are to turnout on election day. what makes these two different place is different? virginia, massachusetts and connecticut? they all have, for example, a large number of electoral laws that provided barriers to many voters. they had pulled taxes. literacy tests. connecticut and virginia both had it. they had long registration periods. it's worth saying, i do not have any of those four states appear, but in four southern states, women did not vote in the presidential election of 1920. those states had six month long registration periods, at least six months if not longer. the 19th amendment was ratified in august. about six or so weeks before the election in november, those four states said, we are sorry, it is nice that you have been in franchise, but you missed the registration deadline. we will see you in 1924. other states, including
7:12 pm
massachusetts had similar restrictions. they found ways to let women vote. if you read the boston almanac, the report for electoral office in 1920, you can tell that they were a little put out. the state legislator meant when they first told him we're going to take all the women register for school board elections, we let them -- move them over to the regular. and you have to hold all the special they's just for women to come and vote. there is this passive aggressive -- it's much work, but we managed to register all these women to vote. we know that the places that have more electoral restrictions are going to have lower turnout. that was of course the very point of most of these restrictions, so in virginia the tests were meant to exclude in particular of course african american voters. i would love to tell you about how african american women, some african american women in virginia got around that and
7:13 pm
did vote in early elections, but of course most did not. also to exclude poor whites. had particularly strong effect, excuse me, on women rather than men. you're going to pay a pull tax from your household and you cannot afford to, you are probably going to paid for the male head of household, but not for the women. in kentucky, on the other hand, in massachusetts i should say, and connecticut, in 1920, 60% of the population was first or second generation immigrants. the purpose of those laws were for those who were already in power to try to keep these immigrants away from polls and not having a big an impact on voting as well. missouri and kentucky had very few voter registration requirements. no poll taxes, no literacy tests, etc. the other thing that makes these two groups of states different is the level of competition. the 1920s were a time period in
7:14 pm
which most american states were overwhelmingly blue or overwhelmingly red. this is the solid, democratic south. in most elections in the south in this period, there is not even republicans being fielded or nominated for office. the other hand, massachusetts and connecticut i should say, are overwhelmingly red during this period. they are john mattocks. they are overwhelmingly republican held during this period. among these ten states, the only two that will be classified as competitive during this period are, and you guessed it, missouri and kentucky. the presidential election in 1920 was decided by 0.05%. what happens when elections are competitive? elections are really selling it. there's a lot of campaigning. the parties have an incentive to reach out to every single vote. some of the norms about women not voting was not nearly as important in an election that
7:15 pm
was going to be that very close. what we know is that these effects tend to be blurred in the 20s. larger for women and four men. what it showing is women on the left, and men on the right, the gold is places that have a lot of election restrictions, and the purple is places that had almost none. for both men and for women, there is a drop off. you live in a place with lots of loss, you will not see as much turnout. but the drop off as you can see, is even greater for women and it is from. these were brand new voters, trying to learn the ropes. they were discouraged vote, and even more likely women's voting. we can see similar competition. purple is democratic one party places. the south. gold are republican places, mostly the north and the west. the few sort of competitive examples that we have, again, that same pattern across men and women, but a bigger impact
7:16 pm
for women. of the source of loss. i will stop at one other point. as i'm showing lots of graphs, while there are gender differences, the patterns are still the same. it turns out that men and women are both rational, reasonable human beings who pay some attention to politics and have use on the sorts of things. given the reason insistence of women's suffrage, i think it's always worth remembering that women got enfranchised, and while some were disappointed there was no revolution, the fact that there was not sort of suggest that this was a population that was perfectly capable, let me put it this way, it was at least this capable as men or. of participating in elections. what this means is that the difference between the turnout of a woman in kentucky and the one in virginia is 50 points.
7:17 pm
let me point out that that difference is larger than the difference between women and men in any one of those states. if you want to understand turnout, it's better to know where someone lived than whether they were a man or a woman. the overall gap in 1920 was just 32 points between men and women. but the gap between different kinds of women, women who lived in the south and women who lived in a competitive border state is much larger than that. that is going to be a theme that you will hear again tonight as well, that there are lots of differences between women that dramatically outpace any differences between women and men in general. i will point out, because we are going to jump to the future coming closer to the end of this top. since 1980, it took till 1980, 60 years after the 19th amendment was ratified. women had been more likely to turn out in presidential elections then had meant. the difference grow a little
7:18 pm
bit overtime. but it is fairly steady. when it goes out with one, it goes up with another. nonetheless, women have been more likely to turn out to vote since 1980. now, mr. allen has more to say about women voters. he goes on to say, not only was she interested in voting ways she could, but she voted mostly as -- what did mr. alan mean by that? another really popular conventional wisdom that we start in the 19 fifties that men are reported to be telling women how they ought to vote. it is a headline from the boston globe in the 1920s. the second headlight is from the detroit free press in the 19 fifties. for most of the first half of the 20th century, the presumption that women voted ways that their husbands told them was really prominent. in a sense, what people were trying to do is make sense of
7:19 pm
the fact that women got the right to vote and voting patterns looked so similar. oh, we thought women were so different but they're voting the same as men. what could possibly be the reason? the reason was men were telling their wives how to vote. i will tell you a little secret. my husband and i also vote the same way in presidential elections. i will let you come to your own assumptions about the direction of influence their. these conventional wisdom has consequences. in the 1930s, george gallup and others become the first sort of folks doing sophisticated polling in the united states. they are randomly selecting people. using good methods. they have finally this opportunity in a systematic way to better understand the attitudes, thoughts, behaviors of people in lots of ways, what
7:20 pm
kind of cereal they by, but of course what kind of candidates they support. in his first polls, in the thirties and forties, george gallup purposely under samples women. the reason was he was trying to understand how people decided who to vote for. as far as he was concerned, there was no puzzle when it came to women. women would do with their husbands told him the night before. if you want to understand how people decide to vote you really got to focus on men. see their thought process and understanding. the data is not great if you want to understand anything about women during this period. i am about to finally a rule and put a lot of words on a power point slight. you do not really need to read these. if you had the look to go to graduate school and political science and study american politics, these would all be names written upon your heart. these were the very first studies systematic scholarly
7:21 pm
studies done of voters in the united states. the first book reporting on elections in 48 and 52 is called voting, the second quote is from the famous book of the american voter, published in 1960, about 52 and 56, and then the last is a quote from a book chapter that really forms the foundation of virtually all studies of public opinion in the united states. i bring these up, because as i just suggested, graduate students and scholars of american politics still read these books. they have shaped, mostly because they are very well done in almost every way. every other way. they are understanding of american voters and what we teach to undergraduates and the way that our scholarship goes about, for generations since. this is really important work. many of these people invented, literally, created the first scholarly surveys. things like the american
7:22 pm
national election steady. a two hour long election steady. it has been done every year since 1948. much of the scholars that i have shaped generations thinking about american elections, they sort of the side about women voters in the middle of the 20th century. what they decided is what the newspaper said as well, that women are mostly doing with their has been still them to do. they also observed that men and women are not that different in their political views, and these are the sort of conclusions they come to. for example, in the second one, the wife votes but otherwise pays little attention to politics, tends to leave not only the sifting of information up to her husband, but abides by his ultimate decision as well. or the wife is very likely to follow her husband's opinion, however imperfectly she may have absorbed their justification's in a more complex level. these are scholars. these are people bringing an instance to bear. let's look at some of that
7:23 pm
evidence. i am now focusing on a very top quote. this makes foreign peril claims. four claims of fact, that we could in fact evaluate. first is that husbands tell their wives. they tell them how to vote. the direction of influence as someone being told. second claim, they do not particularly respect them. when it comes to politics, we do not particularly respect our wives. on the site of wives, there is trust. on the side of husbands there is the need to reply for guide. two more empirical claims. this is long before xl. these are the actual graphs that show up in that book. that support these claims. what you will see is whether a woman or a man said that she would go to a family member to discuss a political question in june, and whether or not a woman or man discussed politics
7:24 pm
with family members and october. what this is trying to show, not surprisingly, is that people talk more about politics right before an election than they do in the summer, which still remains true. i want to focus specifically on what those questions said. have you talked politics with anyone recently? who was the last person you discussed the election or the candidates with? it is absolutely suggested by this data, which i have every reason to trust, that women are more likely to talk to family members about politics tend to other people. whether or not that also means women are more likely to take directions from their husbands. remember, the question is not about homes has been, it's about family members. it's not something that they directly observe or ask about. did women take directions from their husbands? maybe. probably some of them did. i just do not know very well from this particular data pm.
7:25 pm
it is worth saying that one principle of social science would be just how likely are you to talk to anyone if you know, as we do, that this is a period and which a large percentage of women did not work outside the home. simply the probability that the last person you talked to was a family member will be a lot higher for women than it will be four men. i cannot tell you that women did not take direction from their husbands. they certainly may have. i will tell you that the empirical evidence for that is not particularly strong. as i pointed out, there are at least three more in purple claims made here about women and trust, and men and the respect for their wives. there are no questions asked about that. what is happening, and it is what we all do every day, its people are looking at facts. they are saying what explains those facts? our explanations for those facts are going to be rooted in
7:26 pm
the understanding of the way the world works. women are not inherently interested in politics and that traditional family structure -- the man is the leader of the family and gives instructions to the rest of his family. i will look at this information and say, obviously, this is what is going to happen or this is what is happening. i want to be clear, they still do this today. another sort of less and we want to come out of our book is we need to really be thinking about the biases and assumptions we bring to evaluating political information or any kind of information whatsoever. there were people with other ideas, and i am guessing you cannot read this. this is a writer in the new york times in 1956. it says, " if mary couple stena bulk the same way, and they do, it is because the environment gives them the same orientation rather than because the women rubberstamp's the man's choice. " social science will call that
7:27 pm
another hypothesis. when that we would certainly like to have the data to be able to understand, and now that we do, i can tell you that sure enough, married couples tend to have lots of shared characteristics that is also associated with how they vote in presidential and other elections. everyone is excited now. it is very easy to pick on the past. to say back then, they didn't know that there were different gender norms. we have such dramatic changes. we have. it is remarkable, the changes in women's lived experiences from 1920 until 2020. no question. when we get to 2016, shortly, we will have so much more data, so much more information. we will really understand what is going to happen. now i want to go into 2016 thinking this is my year. i've studied women in politics going on 25 years now.
7:28 pm
we will have a woman nominee. i am ready. i am trained for this. then the woman nominee turns out to be the tenth most interesting thing or different historical thing happening in the 2016 election. on the one side, we have the first woman nominee of a major party. on the other side, we have an unusual nominee. by unusual i mean no military or political experience, etc. a nominee who i will not repeat to the things that he has both been incredibly accused of doing and has said about women. obviously, obviously, we are going to have a giant gender gap in 2016, right? and pr on the top. this is the popular voting, 5:38 on the bottom. pre-election. we are going to have a giant gender gap. of course people are going to vote for hillary clinton. of course people are going to vote for hillary -- trump. gender is the thing that most
7:29 pm
explains women's voting behavior. if we think that, surely women are going to vote for a woman nominee and vote against president trump. let me explain what this is. this is the gender gap and presidential elections from 1952 through until 2012. basically, it is the difference and percent women voting democratic minus percent man. what that means is when the line, as it is and 50 2:56 and 60, it's below that zero, women were actually slightly more republican than were men. for the most part, that is what we see prior to the 1960s. i'll talk about that more as well. i love this particular -- than we did all this media stuff, they're all the stories about women fainting over john kennedy. more of them actually voted for richard nixon. it's really not until 1980, which is the second side --
7:30 pm
we really get a systematic what political science will call a modern gender gap, in which women on average are more likely than men on average, to vote for democratic candidates. the largest there is 1996, the reelection of bill clinton. but what is going to happen in 2016 surely, this race is going to get as the biggest gender gap we have ever seen. i want you ought to prepare yourselves. here comes. i don't know if you missed that. (laughter) there it is. one of the ways, and i'm going to dispute my own claim in just two seconds. what i say to students it is the most unusual presidential election, certainly in modern times, where people actually showed up on election day, the patterns were pretty consistent. including the fact, most importantly, that 90% of women
7:31 pm
who identified as republicans rooted for the republican nominee. 90% of women who voted, who identified as democrats voted for the democratic party. pretty much the same percentage as did men and both of those camps as well. the media caught on to this idea that not all women are the same. again, in the fallout from 2016. we had lots of attention to the reality that 52% of white women, the majority, slim injury, but the majority of white women voted for donald trump in 2016. the question becomes, how? why? how could we possibly understand this? what i'm showing you now is the percentage of white women who voted for the republican nominee since 1952. they will be in gold. a percentage of african american women who voted for the republican nominee in
7:32 pm
purple. what you're going to see is that there is really two instances, since the 19 fifties, in which a majority of white women had voted for the democratic candidate. when in 1964, which is you can see, everybody voted against goldwater. then again in 1996, by coincidence, we saw this really large gender that gap. if you have really good eyes, you notice that 1992 looks like that as well. this is the two party vote. if we hadn't the fact that rest perot got 19% of the vote in 1992. none of the candidates got a majority of those from white women. i will focus on just these two. of course what we see is this cavern in the voting preferences of white women and african american women. this is latino women. we've not had that data as long. i could also argue that we've really been focused on the black white racial gap.
7:33 pm
there is really interesting stuff happening among this growing part of the population that is latino. i think it will be very important going forward. what i'm showing you here is 2016, men are in gold. women are in purple. to my far-right, african american -- the percent of 2012 voting for the republican candidate. extremely low levels of african americans from when men or women in 2012. we see that same gender gap. this is another thing to notice. the pattern is usually the same across virtually every group. we see the same pattern in the change or gap, but the majority of white men and women voting for mitt romney. remember, the most radical thing that mitt romney said about women was that he had binders -- we would think given such a different candidate in 2016, surely we will see something
7:34 pm
really different. the answer is we did not. for white women overall. what a stunning, actually, is the stability of this. i'm going to complicate that even more in just one second. it turns out you need to think about race, class, lots of things to understand voting patterns in the united states. that there's always this dynamic going on. for african americans, there is actually a small increase. i'm not sure that either of those are statistically insignificant. in support, i would describe is this more of a 2012 effect than a 2016. this is a return to more normal patterns among the african american community coming down from the heights of support for president obama in 2008 and 12. what i want to emphasize for the 1 millionth time, is that all of those gender differences are so small compared to the differences in terms of race.
7:35 pm
two things can be true at the same time. in general, women are more likely than men, similar men, to vote for democrats. that is usually what we focused on since 1980. this idea of a gender gap. when we say women are more likely to vote for democrats than our men, what we hear is women are democrats. most women are democrats. but as you can see, it is possible for most, for white women to be less likely to vote republican, but still, a majority of them to vote for the republican candidate. let me complicate this. this is incredibly important. our electorate is more diverse overtime. the gray line here is for the census from 1940 to 2016. the percent of electorates that is racial minorities, meaning they are not just african american. overtime, the percent of the female electorate that is
7:36 pm
minority, that will be in purple. the percent of male minority, that is a minority as well. what you might be able to see is up here, he extraordinarily high turnout of minority women. now close to the presidential electorate. african american women in particular are more likely to vote then white men and are only barely passed up by white women. which is a really extraordinary development when you start here in the 1940s. again, that is a long story we could tell, but the caucus is ticking. i told you the story and i said white women voted for donald trump. but even that it turns out to be complicated. maybe you could have gone away thinking there is no change and women. nothing interesting happening. again, this is men and women,
7:37 pm
but only whites in 2012. voting for rich mitt romney. difference is this group, they're women and men who do not have a college degree. they have not gone on to get a college degree. a very small gender gap. but about 60% of men, a little less than women voting for republican in 2012. this is the data for women and men who have at least a college degree and anything beyond that. again, the same overall pattern that, lower support for the republican candidate in 2012. sorry no college degree on the left. what happens in 2016? let's look first at non-college educated women. what i want you to notice is that there is a small increase among white men without a
7:38 pm
college degree. if you read the new york times, these are the only people being interviewed and diners in pennsylvania, right? (laughter) the truth is they go up a little bit in the republican support but not dramatically. the dramatic shift, especially in such a close election is among non-college educated women. so much so that they swing to republican candidate, that that gender gap where they're supposed to be more democratic than men reverses. again, it's accurate to say there about the same, but if anything, white women without a college degree become more likely to vote republican than now white men without a college degree. what happens to college educated men and women? here, the pattern is moving the other way. we see a decline among whites with a college degree in support for the republican candidate in 2016. but again, as we saw with those other college education, the shift among men is pretty
7:39 pm
small. it might not even be statistically significant. shift among women is much more dramatic. again, as we think about what the differences are between women and men, i want to again suggest that much more of the interesting political change it's happening and the differences between different kinds of women. there is no question that the gap between non-college educated women here, and college educated women here in 2016 it's probably larger than any of these male and female gaps. if that makes sense. one of the things i hope that you leave this room convinced of is that women and here it will blow your minds, are as diverse in their interests and identities as our men. when we try to understand how women vote, we want to think about --
7:40 pm
we certainly don't want to think about the women voter. the woman voter wants this. the women voter wants. that there are lots of different women voters. it does not mean gender does not matter. what we have seen in most cases, when exception, our indifferent racial groups, different education groups, i could show you a very similar information. gender gap tends to persist. it's what makes non-college educated women so interested here. it's that one place where we see the change. i did see a headline this week that claims that non-college educated women are returning to the democratic field and we will see how that goes in 2020. so, i am here to tell you what women will do in 2020. you will notice that the slide is blank. if anything, i will say that
7:41 pm
the 2016 election was deeply humbling from any political scientists, including myself. i make no predictions anymore, whatsoever. the past is always our best predictor of the future. i predict that women will continue to be very diverse. i assume that there will still be a gender gap with women slightly more supportive of the democratic candidate than our men. i continue to expect that education, race, income are going to be hugely important to thinking about choices in 2020. those gaps in most cases are going to be larger than any gender gap. with that, i will say thank you for your time and attention. i welcome your questions. (applause) please. >> let the person with the microphone come running up.
7:42 pm
>> in the discussion you presented, it dealt with party differences. i was wondering if you had any analysis with the issues. obviously, as the elections proceed, some would-be during times of war. 2008, health care, health care is a big issue this year. do you have any information on that? >> i do. i'm trying to think about what i have in all the other slides that are coming to show you. i am capable of speaking without a graph behind me. i will do that. the story about issue differences is pretty similar to the difference is, the partisan differences, which is they exist but are not enormous. when people are trying to understand the gender gap and why women have become more democratic, a lot of people have rightfully looked to attitudes about social welfare in particular. and general, women are more supportive of programs and government policies to help the poor, the infirmed, the elderly,
7:43 pm
etc. again, there are not huge differences, but they do exist. as you suggested, we also know that in general, women tend to be less supportive of the use of force. so going back to many, many wars, and you see the rhetoric al-ata newspaper coverage as well. women are voting so that they do not send their husbands and sons to war. there is that as well. there is good evidence that by now, like the last ten or 20 years, women show more tolerance in general, particularly they move quicker in a liberal direction on things like gay and lesbian rights, for example. i'm going to say two additional things. a lot of the original gender gap was blamed on women's issues specifically. the other thing that is going to happen in the seventies and it comes to a head and 19 eighties is that the parties moved apart on women's issues.
7:44 pm
in the early 1970s no one is talking about abortion until after vote -- roe v. wade. equal rights amendment -- etc. everyone looked at that and thought, this is obvious. women are going with the party that is moving in what was understood as the feminist direction. that understanding was pretty much debunked in social science almost immediately. the truth is that women and men don't hold dramatically different different positions on things like abortion and equal rights amendments. maybe sexual harassment and equal pay. those sorts of things, but they are not very large. another thing to say to that is that again, women have lots of interests. women might say that they prioritize those issues a little more. they probably do, but it doesn't mean that those issues override other interests in the state of the economy, in war and peace as you suggested,
7:45 pm
etc. the last addendum i will give -- i give the answer to all questions. you need to prepare yourself. my students will attest to that. our general model of democratic politics is that we look around the world and say this is what we should do about social security. this is what we should do about the environment. from that we say this is the party that is closest to my views, and then we support that party. certainly, that is a good democratic theory way to think about it. everything we know is that partisanship is a value and identity that can most closely be traced to childhood. by the age of nine or ten, children will say i am democrat or republican. at the way we see the world becomes shaped by that partisanship. we are more likely to believe the things said by people that share that identity with us. i don't have it with me, but
7:46 pm
the data on republican public opinion about russia and the switch that it has made since donald trump became president in 2016 is enormous. from overwhelmingly negative to a much more positive. right? because now we have a republican leader sending different signals about russia than previous republican leaders had. i'm not taking on the republicans. i can show you similar things for democrats. what that is, as a way to say that -- i think it's a really important driver to things that are going on. it is linked to other identities. it is linked to our racial identities. linked to our religious identities. linked to our regional identities. cultural identity was. it's extremely reinforcing. i will try not to make them all that long. thank you very much. please. >> you mentioned gallop polls
7:47 pm
and other sources of data. what are your best sources now going into 2020 for that kind of demographic information linked to voting patterns? >> despite what you have heard, polling is not dead. it has gotten a lot harder. my grandmother, she picked up the phone. she would talk to the person on the other line no matter what. people do not do that anymore. it is harder to get people interviewed, but there are also some smart people trying to figure out how to do that a little bit better. some of our academic polls come from organizations that literally, in exchange for gift cards or even have their computer in their home, people agree to be part of a monthly sort of survey that they take. that will be on everything from cereal to politics sort of a thing. there are a couple of organizations that are known for being particularly good at these things. for scholars, the american election city that comes out of
7:48 pm
michigan. that is not useful to you, because that stuff does not get released until after the election, and we kind of cheering through it. the research center is outstanding. excellent. their graphs are beautiful. that would be michael. you could tell i really love my graphs. there are a number of surveys done by major newspapers, so wall street journal has done one with cbs for a long time. those are also very incredibly well done. i am reluctant to say this, in a period of a lot of distrust about distrust about the news media, most of the major established news media sources try to do a good shot. try to have a truly random sample. they try to add questions that are leading and not trying to get a certain outcome, etc. anything done on the line where people can just call in a register their opinions, you do not need to bother looking at that, because that is for fun
7:49 pm
and clicks, not really for knowledge. >> do these patterns persist at the state and local levels as well? >> that is a great question. the short answer is yes. i won't give the short answer, but the short answer is yes. in part because a lot of this is rooted in partisanship. one of the really interesting developments in the last 20 years it's how nationalized our politics have been. the idea that you might vote from when president, when candidate for president, but at the local level you might support a different party, because you know this guy who is running for the city council, or well, he is not my member of congress, but look at all the good stuff he or she has done for my district. that could explain a lot of voting in the middle of the 20th century. it explains a lot less voting today. i might look and think, my
7:50 pm
member of congress, she is a really nice person, but she will go vote with that other party when she gets to congress, and i do not want that. so the reason we see those similar patterns are in part because people are bringing that same partisan lens to local and state elections as well. >> yes. >> women candidates at the state and local levels, it's all dominated by the partisan view as opposed to there is no left about gender even for women candidates? >> we know a lot more about women candidates at those levels, because there are some. the truth is, we don't know very much about women running for president. it is kind of a new thing that everybody's doing. women running and state legislative races for the house or senate, very well studied. there are lots of ways to try and figure out if there is an
7:51 pm
advantage or disadvantage for women. in recent years, i mean the last ten or 20 years, when we do experiments. when we show people randomly two different candidates and we call one chain and one john, it looks like women and democrats have a slight preference for women. we could think about why that might be. the assumptions they bring two women candidates must be ex or why, etc. in the real world, it is very difficult to see any evidence that there is an advantage, or i think this is important, a disadvantage to being a female candidate. there doesn't seem to be a bump either way. if there is a disadvantage, it's mostly for republican women, because we tend to stereotype women as more liberal and more collaborative. to the extent that that will not fly very well with the republican constituents. because they are not liberal. ideological purity is an
7:52 pm
important thing. on the republican side. that may help them a little. but even that is not enormous. it doesn't mean that there is not bias. when i was in graduate school we will talk about, if women run, women win. that seems to be true. if they run, they are more likely to win and men are. so we talk about how we could get more women to run. research since has shown that when women run their equally likely to win, but it seems because they are dramatically overqualified. the women who run have more qualifications, more experience, etc. in some ways, it might be a little depressing that they are equally likely ten men. i'm not saying all male candidates are unqualified. women only run when they've got every degree and every experience and office. hi there. there is one way in the back that has been waiting. i just want to see run. i'm so sorry.
7:53 pm
it's (laughter) >> i also was shocked that white women voted for trump. i'm sorry doctor floyd is not a life. i would like to know, we were talking about women who voted. it is my understanding, many women did not vote, because they assumed hillary was going to get it anyway. i don't have any data on that as to how many people figured she's going to win anyway, why bother? >> i don't know if i have data on that particular question. i don't remember. it doesn't mean it did not happen. much top or any talk about declining turnout among women in 2016. that doesn't mean that there was not a declining turnout among some groups of women. you might have just given me a good idea for a paper to take a quick look at that. you will be a coauthor.
7:54 pm
it'll be fine. this is how we get all my best ideas. the way that you described -- hillary is going to win it. that's conventional wisdom. something of a cost-benefit analysis. i'm running home from work. i gotta get all these things done. do i have time to vote? when it rains, turnout does in fact go down. the problem is the cost benefit analysis almost never works, because even if you think if i vote, will it make a difference? the probability that your vote makes a difference is incredibly small. so why do people actually turn out to vote? they turn out to vote because they get some inherent value from voting. let me be clear. i feel strongly about the inherent value of voting.
7:55 pm
it turns out if all of you do not turn out to vote, that will have a consequence. part of that inherent voting is a sense of duty. certainly people have suggested that one of the reasons that winds turn out and especially african americans women turnout is so high now, is because the sense of duty and general, the girls are more likely to be -- to do what they are told. women have a strong sense of community as well. they want to represent their community. i was going to go somewhere else with that. just one second. now i'm going to forget it. oh, right. we also vote because voting is a ritual in which we are firm that we live in a democratic country. a part of a democratic process, in which citizens get a say. i always tell my students, i have a cold, dead, political science -- science heart.
7:56 pm
i still tear up when i vote. i know people have died to have this right and how valuable it is to have that form of government and how important that is. my hypothesis might actually be different, which is that in the same way that we saw incredible increases an african american turnout in 2008 with the ability to vote for the first african american president, we might have seen and certainly -- some evidence that women felt like i've got a show for this one. whether i vote for hillary are not, i can still sort of feel like i was part of this historic moment. that is a good question. one i don't have a lot of empirical evidence on. i will be getting to you with the draft of this paper. can we do one more? i have not been repeating the questions. >> i was curious.
7:57 pm
i heard there is quite a significant gap in voting patterns between married and unmarried women. >> yes. did you just say a little bit more. >> yes. >> the question was the difference between married and unmarried women. you are exactly right. when we think about different women and different ways we expect them to behave. unmarried women, especially unmarried women with children look different from mary women, particularly compared to married women with children. in general, married women with children, even if you control for other things, social class, region, ethnicity, race, all those sorts of things, are more likely to vote republican than our single women and particularly single mothers. so our single dads, but it turns out i cannot say much about them because there are so few. to really be able to look at.
7:58 pm
there is a lot of things going on there. i don't think we have the perfect answer about why married women and some women are so distinct. it might be a sense of self interest. it's worth saying that we talk a lot about how women are so caring, that is why they support social welfare programs. women are also the vast majority of women working in schools and hospitals. all the source of social working agencies. these are places where women work. it may be that single women who rely more on their own income, that calculation looks a little bit different, but yes, that is another interesting to watch looking forward. it will be interesting, because college educated women are more likely to be married. that will sort of push into different ways. last question here, because you have been waiting so patiently. (inaudible) the question was about the blue wave in 2018.
7:59 pm
it's important to say that a lot of things mattered in elections. certainly, voters mattered in elections. some had the final say. voters are of course affected by lots of different things. by activism, by people who come and knock on doors, but the candidates choose to put themselves forward, by whether or not they are giving donations. and while women's turnout may not have been dramatically different in 2018, women who were active, a tenth protest rallies, call members of congress, give donations to political candidates, organized in their own communities, canvas, do you name, it off the charts in 2018. and that, since everything you have heard is backed up by what data that we have. certain women were very blue in 2018. there were more women candidates, by a long shot then we have ever seen before. most of, them of course, democrats. i say of course. it has only been true for about 20 years. but i also think the other ways
8:00 pm
in which when it mattered a lot in 2016 was that work of democracy that is so important to making the system work. thank you for your question. (applause) you are watching american history tv. every weekend on c-span three, explore. c-span 3, created by americas cable television companies as a public service and brought to you today by your television provider. >> up next on the civil war, historian


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on