When a gender gap becomes a gender chasm

Updated

CNN released a new national poll yesterday, which offered the kind of news Democrats are eager to hear. The survey found Dems with a 14-point lead over Republicans on the generic congressional ballot, which is the largest lead either party has had at this point in the cycle since 2006, when Democrats took control of Congress back from the GOP.

And while that’s certainly of interest for campaign watchers, it’s the gender gap that stands out as extraordinary. From CNN’s report:

Women’s support for Democratic candidates remains extremely strong; 63% of women say they’ll vote for the Democrat and only a third say they’ll vote for the Republican. Men are more closely divided, but tilt in the opposite direction, with half backing the Republican and 45% behind the Democrat.

As things stand, according to this data, Republicans enjoy a modest lead over Democrats among men, 50% to 45%. But among women, Democrats are up by 30 points, 63% to 33%.

That’s not a typo, but it is amazing. Nearly a month ago, we saw a Quinnipiac poll with a 33-point gap between men and women on the generic ballot, which struck me as historic, but this new CNN poll ups the ante, pointing to a 35-point gender gap.

Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum noted in response yesterday, “I’m really not sure what to think of this. It’s almost too big to believe.” And it’s true that some caution is probably in order. Indeed, all the usual caveats still apply: this is only one poll; it’s important to examine averages; overreacting to occasional outliers is never wise, etc.

That said, it’s not too early to say with confidence that Donald Trump’s recent rhetoric about women’s attitudes appears increasingly ridiculous.

Two weeks ago, for example, the president insisted that “women are so angry,” not with Republicans, but with Democrats for not supporting Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination the way Republicans wanted.

After Kavanaugh secured the support he needed to advance, Trump added that women are “extremely happy.”

If the latest polling is correct, what would make women voters “extremely happy” is a series of Republican defeats in 27 days.

A recent FiveThirtyEight analysis made the case that voters may very well see a “record breaking” gender gap this fall, exceeding the midterm results in 1994. That appears increasingly likely all the time.

Polling

When a gender gap becomes a gender chasm

Updated