Where the gender gap is most pronounced

Men and women vote differently. This isn’t breaking news. But in some states, the gender gap — the difference between Democratic and Republican performance among male and female voters — is very pronounced. And our friends at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics have highlighted the states where those voting patterns differ most starkly.

Here’s how reliable the gender gap is: In 273 state-level presidential and Senate polls the researchers analyzed, they found only seven instances in which men voted more Democratic than women: Three states in the 2004 presidential contest (Missouri, Montana and Texas), one state in the 2008 presidential campaign (Nebraska), and three Senate incumbents (Maine, Utah and Hawaii in 2006). So women favored the Democratic candidate more than men did in 87.5 percent of all presidential and Senate elections since 2004.

According to the research, compiled by the Center’s Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley, the largest gaps between men and women occur in four very blue states. Women overwhelmingly prefer Democratic candidates in Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, while men are only slightly predisposed toward Democratic presidential candidates.

Check out their full report here. Below, their state-by-state look at where the gender gap is most prevalent (Thanks to the Center for allowing us to republish their work):


Reid Wilson covers national politics and Congress for The Washington Post. He is the author of Read In, The Post’s morning tip sheet on politics.

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Niraj Chokshi · September 12, 2013

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