One in five Democratic voters say they 'absolutely' plan to vote for a woman in the presidential primary

David McNew/Getty ImagesSen. Kamala Harris at a campaign stop in Los Angeles on May 19.
  • One-fifth of Democratic primary voters say they “absolutely” intend to vote for a woman candidate in the next presidential primary, according to a recent INSIDER poll.
  • Eighty-two per cent of Democratic voters are either somewhat, very, or extremely confidant that a female candidate could beat President Donald Trump in the general election. About 18% aren’t confident.
  • Overall, 13% of Americans say they intend to vote for a woman in the next presidential primary, and 69% said they’re confident a woman could beat Trump.
  • This comes amid a national debate over the role of sexism in politics and the “electability” of women candidates in 2020.
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One-fifth of likely Democratic primary voters said they “absolutely intend” to vote for a female presidential candidate in 2020, according to a recent INSIDER poll.

Another 17% of Democratic voters said they’d “probably” vote for a woman candidate in response to the question, “Would you vote for a woman in a presidential primary?” About 58% of Democrats said they’d “consider” voting for a woman in the presidential primary. And just under 2% said they wouldn’t vote for a female candidate.

INSIDER also asked respondents, “Based on your experience, how confident are you that a woman could win a general election against the president?” The vast majority of Democratic voters – 82% – were either somewhat, very, or extremely confident that a female candidate could beat President Donald Trump. About 18% weren’t confident that a woman could beat Trump.


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Notably, female Democratic voters were slightly more enthusiastic than their male counterparts were about voting for female candidates: the percentage of women who said they’d probably or absolutely vote for a woman was eight percentage points higher than that of men.

But male Democrats were more confident that a female candidate could beat Trump: men were eight percentage points more likely to be very or extremely confident a woman could win.

Overall, 13% of Americans said they “absolutely intend” to vote for a woman in the next presidential primary, and 69% said they’re confident a woman could beat Trump.

Other recent polling has similarly found that Democratic primary voters are enthusiastic about supporting female candidates. In May 2018, Dave Wasserman of the non-partisan Cook Political Report found that women candidates in Democratic primaries did significantly better than their male counterparts.

He looked at the 65 House Democratic primaries (without incumbents) that featured at least one man and one woman. The female candidates defeated their male opponents in 45 of those races – and Wasserman found that women benefited from a 15% “gender bonus.”


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This comes amid a national discussion concerning how gender will impact the 2020 election. Some pundits and voters believe the opposite phenomenon could occur in a general election – that a woman candidate would be penalised for her gender.

Some polling has found that just 52% of Americans – including 45% of men and 60% of women – would be “very comfortable” with a woman president.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,168 respondents collected May 17-18, 2019, a margin of error plus or minus 3.08 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.

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