Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published August 16, 2017 | Published
Report Open

Explaining the Gender Gap in U.S. Presidential Elections, 1980-1992


This paper compares the voting behavior of women and men in presidential elections since 1980 to test competing explanations for the gender gap. We show that, consistent with prior research on individual elections, women placed more emphasis on the national economy than men, and men placed more emphasis on pocketbook voting than women. We add evidence showing that women have consistently more negative assessments of the economy than do men, suggesting that a part of what has been considered a Republican-Democratic gender gap is really an anti-incumbent bias on the part of women. Our multivariate analysis demonstrates that neither the differences between men and women's preferences nor emphasis on any single issue explains the significant gender gap in vote choice; but that a combination of respondent views on the economy, social programs, military action, abortion, and ideology can consistently explain at least three-fourths of the gender gap in the 1984, 1988, and 1992 elections. We also clarify the interpretation of partisan identification in explaining the gender gap.

Additional Information

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 1996 Midwest Political Science Association Meeting; Chicago, Illinois, April. 1996. Comments are welcome. Published as Chaney, C.K., Alvarez, R.M., & Nagler, J. (1998). Explaining the gender gap in US presidential elections, 1980-1992. Political Research Quarterly, 51(2), 311-339.

Attached Files

Published - sswp979.pdf


Files (434.5 kB)
Name Size Download all
434.5 kB Preview Download

Additional details

August 19, 2023
January 14, 2024