Eighty per cent of Democratic women — and 46% of independent women — think President Donald Trump should be impeached, according to a new report from the Public Religion Research Institute.
Just 60% of Democratic men — and 32% of independent men — agree.
This gender gap reflects a dramatic difference in how men and women in both parties view Trump. Women’s approval of the president is 14 points lower than men’s approval. And women view Trump less favourably than they have any president for the last 64 years.
Democratic and left-leaning women are also significantly more pessimistic about the country’s future than men with their same political orientation, according to April Pew polling.
But while women’s political activity has spiked on the left, there’s no evidence that this has discouraged liberal men from joining the ranks of the resistance.
“There’s nothing to suggest that Democratic men have felt marginalized,” Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women and Politics Institute at American University, told Business Insider. “It’s just that Democratic women have really grabbed the bull by the horns and said, ‘We’re going to do everything we can to push back against this agenda.'”
Dittmar said she thinks progressive men might be deferring to women and people of colour, given that these groups often feel targeted by Trump’s rhetoric and agenda.
“It’s a complicated position for men because Trump’s whole positioning of himself is within a context of male dominance,” Kelly Dittmar, a professor at Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics, told Business Insider. “He’s putting forth this idea that the manliest people are best — they’re the best to speak and they’re the best to make policy, and so I think that creates the sense among some progressive men that, perhaps, we don’t want to seem that way and therefore we want to make sure that women are given as much power and voice in this movement.”
Dittmar argued that women in Congress are also getting more attention and praise than their male colleagues are for speaking out against Trump.
Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster who wrote a book about women voters with top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, said women are more concerned than men are with Trump’s unfiltered, sometimes bombastic rhetoric and behaviour.
“For men, there’s a substantive concern,” Lake said. “For women, there’s a stylistic and substantive concern.”
But while Trump lost the female vote by 12 points in November, he won a majority — 53% — of white women voters and 64% of non-college educated white women, to some pollsters’ surprise.
“That was the sort of big myth of the election, that all of a sudden white women were voting for Democrats,” Dittmar said. “We knew that white women had voted consistently Republican in the last few elections.”
And that hasn’t changed — at least, not yet.
There’s not much of a gender gap among Republican voters on the issue of impeachment. While Republican women are slightly less favourable of Trump, they largely agree with their male counterparts. Just 9% of GOP women and 4% of men say Trump should be impeached.
“Party polarization has become the biggest force in American politics,” Lawless said. “There’s a little bit more room for dismay among Republican women than Republican men, but still just a fraction.”
Lawless added that Republican women’s views might be shifting in the aftermath of Trump’s controversial response to this month’s violent white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left one female protester dead.
“With something as blatantly obvious as his botching of the Charlottesville response, [Republican women] might see even more freedom to move away from their approval or their support for Trump,” Lawless said. “Because at this point, removing him from office doesn’t mean that they get Hillary Clinton, it would mean that they get Mike Pence.”
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