Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us


Women Won The Right To Vote 100 Years Ago. They Didn’t Start Voting Differently From Men Until 1980.



Women officially won the right to vote just a few months before the 1920 presidential election, and as soon as the 19th Amendment was ratified, suffragists were predicting a sea change in American politics. One activist even proclaimed that “the women’s vote is going to be a tremendous factor in this election.”

And that did happen, eventually. In the century since women’s suffrage, women have transformed our politics — in particular, they’ve become a force to be reckoned with inside the Democratic Party. Of course, many women — especially white women — still vote Republican, but in election after election, it is the Democratic Party that has added more women to its ranks.

It was a “women’s wave,” after all, that swept Democrats into the House in 2018, including a record number of female Democratic lawmakers. And this week, Democrats will officially nominate Sen. Kamala Harris as their vice presidential candidate, just the fourth woman to ever be on a major party’s presidential ticket.

But it took a surprisingly long time for women to become the electoral force that suffragists predicted. After the passage of the amendment, women were not broadly mobilized, and in many places, women of color continued to face barriers to voting. This meant that the first women to vote were largely white, wealthy or living in states that made it easier for women to vote. It wasn’t until 1980, for instance, that equal shares of men and women cast a ballot. That was also the first election where there was an observable gender gap in the presidential vote.1 According to exit polls, that year less than half (47 percent) of women voted for Ronald Reagan compared to 55 percent of men. And since then, the gap has largely expanded, with women becoming an increasingly large and influential base for Democratic candidates.

“It’s a pretty stunning effect,” said Elizabeth U. Cascio, an economist at Dartmouth and the co-author of a recent paper on the gender gap. In her research, she and colleague Na’ama Shenhav gathered voter turnout data in presidential elections, finding women went from being 10 percentage points less likely to vote than men in the 1940s to being about 4 points more likely to vote in 2016. At the same time, she added, women became increasingly likely to identify as Democrats, compared to men.

So what happened to make women turn out at a higher rate than men — and stick with the Democrats while many men have abandoned the party for the Republicans?

The first question is easier to answer. It took several decades for women to vote at the same rate as men, but once they did, they actually became more engaged voters. Now, it’s routine for women to turn out at substantially higher rates than men.

“It’s a story of generational replacement and change,” said Christina Wolbrecht, a political science professor at the University of Notre Dame and the co-author of “A Century of Votes for Women: American Elections Since Suffrage.” Before 1920, women hadn’t just been denied the right to vote — they had also been told over and over that voting and politics were for men. Reliable data about women’s voting patterns in the 1920s and 1930s is scarce, but according to Wolbrecht, some women in the years after suffrage never stopped believing that voting simply wasn’t their job.

That wasn’t how later generations of women saw the world, though. To most women born in the mid-20th century, voting seemed like an entirely natural thing to do. By the 1980s, it was so natural, in fact, that women were consistently voting at higher rates than men. That shift was driven in part by Black women: Despite facing systemic barriers to voting through the mid-1960s, they turned out at rates similar to white men — and only slightly lower than white women — by the mid-1990s.

But that story of generational replacement doesn’t explain why women became an increasingly important fixture of the Democratic base, starting with the 1980 election. Before that year, men’s and women’s voting patterns looked pretty similar — they voted at almost exactly equal rates for the Republican and Democratic candidates in the 1972 and 1976 presidential elections, for instance. That’s why it was so shocking when in 1980, an 8-point gender gap emerged between the share of men and women who voted for Reagan, with 55 percent of men backing him but just 47 percent of women.

So what happened? Simply put, prior to 1980, it hadn’t been as clear which party was more naturally aligned with most women’s views on policy issues. But in that election cycle, the Republican Party took a sharp right turn on a number of issues that mattered to women, including issues like spending on the social safety net, the environment, and the role of government. (The GOP also opposed the Equal Rights Amendment for the first time that year in its party platform.) And while a majority of men, who had been increasingly drawn toward the Republicans as the Democrats grew more liberal on issues of race, ended up in Reagan’s column, a majority of women did not.

As the parties became more and more polarized over the next few decades, this gap grew larger too, as women and men’s political allegiances continued to drift apart. “The issues that women tend to care about have largely been embraced by the Democratic Party,” Cascio said.

Other factors may have also helped drive this shift. For starters, several experts told us, women were increasingly likely to join the workforce, particularly in public sector jobs like teaching, which may have reinforced their support for a robust government safety net. At the same time, rising divorce rates, declining marriage rates and changing eligibility requirements for social welfare programs like Medicaid made many women more dependent on government support, which may have also drawn them to the Democratic Party, the party increasingly branded as supportive of big government. And according to a 2017 study, single women are more likely than married women to see themselves as connected to other women, which in turn predicts a more liberal ideology, especially for white and Latina women. (Black women tend to be liberal regardless of their marital status.)

Black women’s support for Democratic candidates was also a crucial part of this shift. “Black women have consistently and strongly supported the Democratic Party for decades now,” said Chaya Crowder, a political science professor at Loyola Marymount University. But that’s not because the Democrats have done a particularly good job of engaging with Black women, or worked to win their votes. Instead, according to research by Crowder and her co-authors, Black women are especially likely to see voting itself as an important and urgent act. One reason they’ve continued to vote Democratic, despite the party’s long history of lackluster outreach, is that their policy goals are almost always more aligned with those of the Democrats.

Over the past few years, there’s evidence of yet another crucial shift in women’s political allegiances too: More white women are moving toward the Democratic Party. The gender gap in 2018 was the largest in at least two decades, for instance, with a bigger share of white women voting for Democrats than in 2016.

This year, that trend could accelerate even further, thanks to President Trump’s presence on the ballot, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests continuing to unfold around the country. According to an analysis of likely voters in Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape surveys conducted from July 23 through August 12, women are much likelier to support Biden over Trump, while men are fairly evenly divided between the two candidates. Biden is also slightly ahead of Trump among white women — which is noteworthy, because a majority of white women supported Trump in 2016.

Biden Trump
race Female Male margin Female Male margin
Asian/Pacific Islander 67.3% 62.0% +5.3 24.7% 30.7% -5.9
Black 86.8 76.9 +10.0 6.5 16.7 -10.2
Hispanic 57.8 58.0 -0.2 31.1 35.8 -4.7
White 49.3 40.7 +8.6 45.0 54.7 -9.7
All 56.8 47.9 +8.8 36.3 46.8 -10.5

Source: Democracy fund + UCLA Nationscape

Of course, we’re still several months away from the election, and these numbers could change. But even before the pandemic hit, Trump’s lagging support among women sparked speculation that Republicans face a tough road with female voters. For instance, Trump’s favorability among women overall is very low, according to the Nationscape data. Of likely voters, only 37 percent of women said they had a favorable view of the president, while 56 percent said they have a favorable view of Biden. Likely male voters, on the other hand, tend to have a rosier view of Trump — 46 percent of men said they have a favorable view of the president — and a less positive impression of Biden. Just 51 percent of men said they had a favorable view of Biden.

Additionally, several experts told us that there are good reasons to believe that Biden is on track to see record high support among women, including white women. Mary-Kate Lizotte, a political science professor at Augusta University who studies the gender gap, told us that for many women, the fallout from the pandemic could underscore their support for a strong government safety net and draw them toward Biden. Faced with school closures and a historically high unemployment rate, Lizotte said, many women could feel especially inclined to support a party that promises significant government support. Meanwhile, Erin Cassese, a political science professor at the University of Delaware, said that with Harris on the ballot, sexism is likely to be a prominent issue, as it was in 2016 — which could help widen the gender gap even further.

The Black Lives Matter protests could also galvanize more women to turn out for Biden, according to Lizotte and Crowder, because women have been active in the protests and tend to score lower in racial resentment — a widely used measure in political science to capture racist attitudes — and tend to have more liberal perspectives on issues around race.

One big question, though, is whether women will turn out at high rates this year, with their kids out of school and the ordinary rhythms of life and work in disarray. Lizotte said she thinks it’s possible that these barriers might deter some women from voting.

But it’s even likelier, she said, that women might be more motivated than usual to turn out. “These issues are so personal and so dramatic and so likely to affect women,” she said. “Some of those people who haven’t been consistent voters might feel like it’s actually worth their time.”

And if that happens, women will do a lot to determine the fate of the 2020 election, just a few months into their second century of suffrage.

Source : FiveThirthyEightRead More

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Toronto FC hoping to make MLS Cup run having spent much of 2020 far from home



On a recent Thursday in Hartford, Conn., Toronto FC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg pondered the dichotomy of wanting to reach MLS Cup on Dec. 12, but also desiring to see his family again. Meanwhile, Jim Liston, the team’s director of sports science, was planning a trip to Lowe’s to buy 15 garbage cans so players could have an ice bath after training. As for manager Greg Vanney, he was fretting about his team’s health and the lack of practice time their schedule was affording.

Such is the life of a team as it attempts to not only navigate its way through the COVID-19 pandemic, but has been forced to do it away from home.

Due to travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, TFC — like the league’s other two Canadian teams, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps — set up a “home” base in the U.S. for the remainder of the season; Toronto were stationed in Hartford. (Vancouver Whitecaps took roost in Portland, ground-sharing with Timbers, while Montreal Impact split use of New York Red Bulls’ facilities in Harrison, N.J.) This was on top of nearly every team spending nearly a month inside a bubble back in July at the MLS is Back Tournament outside Orlando, Florida.

The Reds spent about seven weeks back in Toronto as they played a series of matches against Canadian teams. In mid-September, the remainder of the regular season — and the temporary move to Hartford — beckoned. The vagabond nature of the campaign is what led Liston to joke that he was willing to discuss “whatever five seasons” the team has been through so far. But for Vanney and the players, the campaign has required a special kind of focus.

“A lot of what we’ve done here, and what we try to preach here is just control the controllables, and don’t get too drawn into the things you can’t,” Vanney told ESPN. “Roll with it, and make the best out of whatever the situation is.”

Stream FC Daily on ESPN+
– 2020 MLS Playoffs: Who’s in, schedule and more
– MLS on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)

Toronto has largely succeeded in spite of its odyssey. While there was disappointment at missing out on the Supporters’ Shield to the Philadelphia Union, TFC went 7-3-2 during its Hartford sojourn and finished with the second-best record in the league. But the challenges have still been immense. Simply being out of one’s home environment is difficult enough, but the time spent away from family and loved ones weighs heavy on the psyche, even as Vanney has given players the occasional trip back to Toronto — under quarantine — to reconnect with loved ones.

“It’s just very different, very challenging and emotionally exhausting,” Westberg said of his experience while based in Hartford.

Westberg has arguably had it tougher than most. The TFC goalkeeper is married with four children, including a baby girl who was born in June. For that reason, Westberg and his wife, Ania, made the decision at the end of September that it would be better for her and their kids to head back to his native France so they could be surrounded by family. Westberg called it “the least bad decision,” but there are difficulties nonetheless.

“I’m a very even person, and this year has challenged me a lot,” he said. “I’m still pretty even, but I keep a lot to myself and for sure there’s some difficult days, seeing your family [struggle] from your absence.”

The inability to be home has affected the players and staff in other ways. In Toronto, there are ways of disengaging from the game. Being with friends, loved ones or even in familiar surroundings can be the best medicine in terms of forgetting a bad game or training session. But in Hartford, at the team’s hotel, that escape is nearly impossible even as players try to distract themselves by reading or taking online classes.

“You don’t really unplug,” Westberg said. “You FaceTime family, or this or that, but it’s too short. You’re 100 percent focused on your soccer, and your whole day basically relies on being ready for whatever soccer activity that you have next, whether it’s practice or game. It’s good for your physique, it’s optimal for the way you eat and the way you [train]. But mentally, you’re not as fresh as your body.”

That isn’t to say there are only negatives to the separation. There is also an us-against-the-world mentality that Toronto has adopted, given that their players and personnel are experiencing the season in a way that is vastly different than most other teams. The team staff has done what it can to make their surroundings a home away from home, whether it’s personalizing the locker rooms at Rentschler Field or having hotel staff brand the surroundings in TFC colors. The hotel went so far as to bring in a barista who could consistently give the players their coffee fix. Supporters groups have even sent down banners in a bid to convey the fact that the players are remembered.

The care that TFC takes for players has extended to families back home, with the club supplying meals to loved ones three times a week.

On the logistical side, Liston made sure that one of the gyms used at MLS is Back was brought to TFC’s hotel in Hartford, and he remarked that the food at the hotel is “arguably the best we’ve ever had on the road.”

There have also been efforts to create new routines. Assistant coach Jason Bent, aka DJ Soops, has been in charge of the pregame music selection for the past 18 months — no easy feat for a squad that has a considerable international presence. In Hartford, Bent has set aside Thursday nights to spin music in one area of the hotel. He’ll even go live on Instagram or Twitch for those who prefer to relax in their rooms.

“[We] opened it to players and staff and basically anyone that’s part of our bubble to come relax, listen to music and just enjoy each other’s company,” Bent said. “I enjoy making people happy so if it’s helping everyone even in the slightest, I have no problem arranging the set and spinning.”

For Vanney, the pandemic and operating outside of the team’s home market has meant any number of challenges. He said the team has used three different training facilities in Hartford, with varying field conditions. He recognizes that the trips home are vital for the mental health of his players and staff, but any breaks also mean less time spent on the practice field. The compressed schedule, which at times involved games every three or four days, has had an impact as well. Even the best-laid plans in terms of squad rotation were impacted as minor injuries began popping up.

“We end up with a lot of guys in different positions because they need special kinds of treatment or care to help them get fit and back to health,” Vanney said. “So it ends up being a lot of different things kind of going on all at once, and that’s been the challenge of it.”

Recovery from matches has been complicated by the fact that TFC doesn’t have access to the same level of facilities that it does at home — hence Liston’s emergency trip to Lowe’s to fashion impromptu ice baths for the players. Then there are the different ways the players occupy themselves on the road as compared to home, especially amid the pandemic.

“There’s really no life outside of the hotel,” Liston said. “[At home], you may go walk the dog in the afternoon or go for a walk with your wife or friend or girlfriend or family and you’re out and about. The recommendation [here] is to kind of stay put. So you’ve got a really active population and pro athletes, who we’re asking them to be sedentary the rest of the time, kind of stay in the hotel from a COVID and safety standpoint. That’s not optimal for recovery either.”

There are also the creature comforts of home that are no longer available on the road, which can impact sleep.

“Sleep is the number one tool for recovery, and that’s definitely been a challenge,” Liston said. “We do well-being questionnaires and the scores on quality of sleep, and hours of sleep, just drop.”



Tom Barlow and Brian White seal Toronto’s fate in a 2-1 win for New York Red Bulls. Watch MLS on ESPN+.

Another change has been same-day travel, which has drawn mixed reactions from the TFC players and staff. Vanney and Westberg are generally in favor, saying it reminds them of when they each played in France. Flying back the same night also means a training day isn’t lost. Liston has a different perspective in that he prefers arriving the day before, and then leaving the same day.

“I think [same-day travel] makes for a really long day,” he said. “And there’s definitely a negative impact on performance, taking three bus rides and a plane ride before your game. You’re getting home — it can be 12:30, but it could also be 1:30 in the morning, and that’s where you know our well-being scores and sleep hours and quality just disappear. When you have so many games in succession, you can’t make up the sleep.”

With the playoffs set to begin for TFC on Nov. 24, the end is in sight, even as it makes for a complex — and even conflicting — set of emotions.

“This is the tricky part. I miss them a lot,” Westberg said of his family. “But in a way I want to see them as [late] as possible in December, because obviously, there’s this idea that we want to do well in the playoffs and we want to keep going. TFC has a history of setting high standards and high expectations. It’s a heavy load to carry but also an exciting one.”

Win or lose, it’s a season they’ll never forget.


Continue Reading


Bettman: NHL is mulling temporary realignment



The NHL is considering a temporary realignment of its teams for the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, according to commissioner Gary Bettman.

Bettman said Tuesday that restrictions on travel across the Canadian border, as well as “limitations in terms of quarantining when you go from certain states to other states” within the United States, could mean the NHL creates a more regionalized alignment for its upcoming season.

“As it relates to the travel issue, which is obviously the great unknown, we may have to temporarily realign to deal with geography, because having some of our teams travel from Florida to California may not make sense. It may be that we’re better off — particularly if we’re playing a reduced schedule, which we’re contemplating — keeping it geographically centric and more divisional-based; and realigning, again on a temporary basis, to deal with the travel issues,” Bettman said during a 2020 Paley International Council Summit panel with fellow commissioners Adam Silver of the NBA and Rob Manfred of MLB.

The NHL board of governors has a meeting scheduled for Thursday which will provide a progress report and possible recommendations for a season format, based on talks between the league and the NHL Players’ Association. The target date for starting next season remains Jan. 1.

Bettman said the league is considering a few scheduling options for the 2020-21 season. Something that’s off the table: playing the entire season in the kind of bubbles the NHL had in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, to complete last season. But Bettman said teams opening in their own arenas is a possibility, along with a modified bubble.

“We are exploring the possibility of playing in our own buildings without fans [or] fans where you can, which is going to be an arena-by-arena issue. But we’re also exploring the possibility of a hub. You’ll come in. You’ll play for 10 to 12 days. You’ll play a bunch of games without traveling. You’ll go back, go home for a week, be with your family. We’ll have our testing protocols and all the other things you need,” he said.

Bettman also indicated that the NHL is exploring “a hybrid, where some teams are in a bubble, some teams play at home and you move in and out.”

The NBA’s board of governors unanimously approved a deal with the players’ union that sets the stage for a season that will open on Dec. 22 and with a reduced schedule of 72 games. Silver said that the commissioners are in communication on COVID-19-related issues, especially the NBA and the NHL, since the two leagues’ teams share arenas and, in some cases, team owners.

Silver said he senses that the NBA will have fans in many of its buildings this season.

“We’re probably going to start one way, where we’re maybe a little bit more conservative than many of the jurisdictions allow,” he said. “What we’ve said to our teams is that we’ll continue to work with public health authorities. Arena issues are different than outdoor stadium issues. There will be certain standards for air filtration and air circulation. There may be a different standard for a suite than there will be for fans spaced in seats.”

Silver said there will be standardized protocols that are consistent from arena to arena, such as proximity between players and fans: “In certain cases, for seats near the floor, we’re going to be putting in testing programs, where fans will certify that they’ve been tested — some within 48 hours, some within day of game.” While Silver supported a continued expansion of the NBA postseason through its play-in tournament, Bettman said that he’s not in favor of expanded playoffs or “playing with the fundamentals of the game.” The NHL had 24 teams in its postseason last summer.


Continue Reading


The Battleground States Where We’ve Seen Some Movement In The Polls



With apologies to The Raconteurs, the presidential race continues to be “steady as she goes,” with little sign of tightening despite a plethora of new polls. FiveThirtyEight’s presidential forecast gives Joe Biden an 89 in 100 shot at winning the election, while President Trump has just an 11 in 100 chance. This makes Biden the favorite, but still leaves open a narrow path to victory for Trump, for whom a reelection win would be surprising — but not utterly shocking.

At the same time, we also have fewer polls from live-caller surveys, which have historically been more accurate and have shown slightly better numbers for Biden, than polls that use other methodologies, such as polls conducted primarily online or through automated telephone calls. Nevertheless, while the overall picture has shifted only a little in recent days, a few battleground states have seen at least some movement in their polls, which has slightly altered the odds Biden or Trump wins in each of those places.

What election stories need to get more coverage | FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast


Continue Reading