Exit Poll: Donald Trump Spiked His Votes Among Married Women in 2020

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President Donald Trump spiked his poll ratings among married women to a 13-point advantage over Joe Biden — but Biden won the votes of unmarried women by 25 points.

The resulting 38-point marriage gap is three times as large as the sex gap, which is the 13-point gap between Trump’s 43 percent share and Biden’s 56 percent share of all women voters, according to the 2020 exit polls.

However, the sex gap — often incorrectly called the “gender gap” — gets far more publicity in establishment media outlets than the marriage gap.

The marriage gap was much lower in 2016, partly because Trump lost married women to Hillary Clinton by two points (47 percent to 49 percent), according to the 2016 exit polls.

In 2020, Trump boosted his share of married women by 8 points, from 47 percent in 2016 to 55 percent in 2020. That means Trump persuaded one in every 16 married women to flip from Clinton to Trump in 2020, despite media uproar about Trump’s tweets and comments.

Trump’s gain was likely driven by Trump’s good economy, which boosted household income by roughly 7 percent in 2019. Marriage tends to expand women’s political concerns to include the economic interests of their male husbands.

However, married women comprise just 26 percent of the 2020 electorate, so Trump’s 13-point advantage was overwhelmed by Biden’s twice-as-large 25-point advantage among the unmarried women who comprise a similar-sized share of the electorate.

Yet Biden’s share of the unmarried women’s vote was just 62 percent, down one compared to Clinton’s 63 percent share in 2016.

The share of married women has been falling for decades, from roughly 65 percent in 1960 to 55 percent in 2000, down to roughly 50 percent in 2020. The GOP has done little to offset this trend, aside from nudging up child-support payments in periodic tax bills.

The 2020 poll showed a much smaller gap among women with or without children, partly because unmarried women with children are more likely to vote for the Democrats’ promise of more federal aid.

So the exit poll showed that 52 percent of women with children sided with Biden (Trump got 46 percent), and while 53 percent of women without children also sided with Biden (46 percent voted for Trump).

The exit poll data comes from an exit survey funded by multiple media outlets. According to CNN, the exit polls “are a combination of in-person interviews with Election Day voters and telephone polls measuring the views of absentee by-mail and early voters, and were conducted by Edison Research on behalf of the National Election Pool. In-person interviews on Election Day were conducted at a random sample of 115 polling locations nationwide among 7,774 Election Day voters. The results also include 4,919 interviews with early and absentee voters conducted by phone. Results for the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.”


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