Contact: Caroline Phelps, [email protected]


Poll: 85% of Voters Say Candidate Gender Not a Deciding Factor in Midterms Vote

Midterm Candidates Evaluated Based on Policies, Not Gender

Washington, DC – New polling data by McLaughlin & Associates for Independent Women’s Voice of 1,000 likely 2018 voters found that a majority of Americans (85 percent overall, including 84% of women) say candidate gender is not a determining factor when it comes to how they would cast their vote in the midterms.

Record numbers of women are running for public office in 2018, bringing additional diversity to the candidate pool. While this is something to be celebrated, ultimately votes will not be based on the candidate’s sex. Only 16% want to consider gender, and all of them represent less than a third of any likely Democrat-voting subgroup (e.g., 25% of Democrat females, and 31% of all liberals). But when asked if someone will support a candidate because of their sex, 83% say gender makes no difference, and only 10% will support a female because she is a woman.

“While much has been written about the need for more women in government, something we applaud, it is encouraging that the American voter is rejecting identity politics, with 31% saying that while they think we would benefit from having more women in Congress, gender isn’t a determining factor, and another 54% of Americans saying that we benefit from having the best qualified candidates in Congress, regardless of gender,” said Tammy Bruce, President of Independent Women’s Voice.

The survey, fielded July 18-24, 2018, also asked voters whether they considered there to be a specific set of women’s issues or if all issues were women’s issues. 57% of women (and 54% overall) said that all issues are women’s issues, including 60% of Independents and 59% of liberals, while only 43% limit women’s issues to a particular subset.

For detailed analysis of the results, view the memo. For media inquiries, please contact [email protected]

Independent Women’s Voice is an advocacy 501(c)(4) that fights for women and their loved ones by effectively expanding support among women, independents, and millennials for policy solutions that aren’t just well-intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.