Rutgers poll: Women vote according to party, not gender

    Women tend to support Democratic candidates because of their stance on economic issues.

    A Rutgers University analysis finds that party is more important than gender in determining which political candidates women will support.

    A few high-profile women are Republican candidates in some marquee races for the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial elections this year.

    But Debbie Walsh, the director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, said Tuesday women voters still tend to support Democratic candidates at a higher rate than men.

    “What we have seen since 1980 is that women are anywhere between four, and in this cycle we’re seeing gaps of up to 15, points more likely to support the Democratic candidate than men are or less likely to support the Republican candidate than men are,” said Walsh.

    Walsh said economic issues are a big influence on the way women vote. She said women earn less than men and have saved less for retirement. So they’re concerned they’ll need Social Security, family leave and other government assistance that Democratic candidates tend to support.

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