Gender, Marital Status, and Democratic Voting: Clarifying the gender gaps in voting.

Obama vote among whites by gender and marital status: 2010-2012 GSS

2008 Obama vote among whites by gender and marital status: 2010-2012 GSS

Over at TMP, Josh Marshall was waxing about how race and gender are used as foils to compare against “real voters”, who are white men. I’ve been playing around a bit with the election and gender variables in the GSS, mostly to get examples for my statistics class, but some of the findings don’t square well with the common narrative that women vote Democratic. The reason is the interaction with race—men are underrepresented among African Americans and Latinos  in survey data, and since both groups side heavily with the Democrats it gives an appearance of a gender gap which may not exist. Second is the interaction with marital status, which presents a much more complicated picture than the Rush Limbaugh assertion that single women want to be taken care of by Sugar Daddy Barry. I can’t make much of the specifics of ethnicity, marital status, and voting along these lines, so I limit this to white voters. In line with much of the common narrative, Barack Obama lost the married white vote—and there is a more than five point gap between married men and married women in the expected direction. And, while less than half of divorced men voted for Obama, about 59% of divorced women voted for the Kenyan—a full ten point gap among the divorced.

The problem is with the other two groups—the widowed and the never married—which together constitute over 27% of white voters in the GSS. The widowed, of course, tend to be old, and tend to be female, yet there is no gender gap in Obama voting among the widowed, and just over 53% of widowed men and women sided with Obama. Similarly, among the never married (who tend to be young) there is no gender gap—with 69% of unmarried with women and men voting for Obama. Married white men are clearly the outlier, divorce or the death of a spouse improves their affinity for the Democratic Party. So no wonder Barack Hussein is pushing this gay marriage divorce down our throats along with the kill grandma Obamacare death panels!

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