The partisan gender gap in the United States a generational replacement?

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To what degree have generational differences contributed to partisan changes in the American electorate, and what role did they play in the emergence of the gender gap in party identification? This paper sheds light on parallel and contradicting partisan trends among subgroups of the American electorate that affected the partisan gender gap over the past decades. By unpacking the gap by region, race, and generations, the analysis reveals that the effect of generational replacement on the gender gap varied in terms of size and direction between different subgroups. While in the South newer generations of white women diverged from the New Deal generation, consequently having a greater effect on the gender gap, in the rest of the country shifts among white men affected the gap to a greater extent than shifts among white women. Among African Americans, a decline in Democratic support was shown among newer generations of men, but less so among women. The findings highlight the importance of such political and historical contexts, and raise questions about the future of the partisan gender gap as the New Deal generation is replaced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-251
Number of pages21
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 26 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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