A woman places her vote into the ballot box on March 5, 2016 in Bowling Green, Ky.
Photo by Austin Anthony/Daily News/AP

Republicans confront a significant gender gap ahead of midterm elections

Updated

The Rachel Maddow Show, 7/5/18, 9:43 PM ET

Women showing significant preference for Democrats in 2018: poll

New Quinnipiac polling shows that women’s preference for Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections significantly surpasses that of previous years, without a corresponding boost in preference by men for Republicans.
When the latest Quinnipiac poll asked respondents whether Donald Trump is mentally stable or not, the president didn’t fare especially well: only 48% of Americans said yes. But the gender breakdown pointed to an interesting result: while a narrow majority of men said they consider Trump mentally stable, 50% of women said the opposite.

The result was emblematic of the significant gender gap Republicans are confronting this year. Indeed, the same Quinnipiac poll showed the president with a weak 38% approval rating, but Trump fared even worse among women, with whom he has 34% support.

The new CNN poll, released yesterday, offered even more dramatic results.

“Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president?”

Men: 42% approve, 51% disapprove
Women: 29% approve, 65% disapprove

That’s not a typo.

Of course, the president isn’t literally on the ballot this year, but that doesn’t mean the news for congressional Republicans is much better. A recent Quinnipiac poll on the generic congressional ballot found women preferring Democratic candidates to GOP candidates by a whopping 25-point margin – far larger than in other recent midterm election cycles.

A FiveThirtyEight analysis published last month made the case that voters may very well see a “record breaking” gender gap this fall, exceeding the midterm results in 1994.

Of course, the midterms are still two months away – Election Day is exactly eight weeks from today – and we may yet see public attitudes shift between now and then. But that’s not necessarily good news for Republicans: if the Senate’s GOP majority votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a conservative jurist who’s very likely to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the gender gap may yet get bigger.

Polling

Republicans confront a significant gender gap ahead of midterm elections

Updated