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Column

2020 Election: Year of the Woman Voter

Women are the most consistent, reliable voting bloc across the country, across the elections, year in and year out,” according to Jeanette Senecal, senior director for elections, League of Women Voters.

In every U.S. presidential election since 1984 – nine straight elections – more women than men have cast their ballot. The gender gap is consistent regardless of race.

By Nov. 3, women will be the deciding factor who will be our next president, which comes 100 years after the 19th Amendment (women’s right to vote) became law.

In the 2016 election, 63% of women registered to vote cast ballots compared with 59% of men; women cast nearly 10 million more ballots than men. Voter turnout in 2020 is projected to witness a 12% increase over 2016’s election.

Fifty-six percent of women are registered Democrats while just 38% of females are Republican. Across the board, women, whether they are college-educated, attended college, a high school graduate or have less than a high school education prefer the Democratic Party.

Oma Seddiq, columnist for Business Insider, reveals in her Aug. 18 op-ed, the 100 year fight for political equality is far from over and three facts are prevalent: women are more politically engaged, women of color are the fastest-growing voting bloc and women have shifted from GOP to Democrat since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

American University professor Jane Hall concurs with Seddiq and notes “we are seeing a very striking acceleration of what has been a trend for some time, which is a gender gap between women voting for Democrats and men voting more for the Republican Party.”

The non-partisan Brookings Institution claims the gender alignment of American politics has “been fueled by the misogynistic behavior of Donald Trump and other leaders of his party who can’t seem to resist attacking powerful, successful Democratic women, and more generally, hindering the full equality of women. It is spreading in almost every state and locality in America as women voters take charge of the country’s future.”

Jennifer Rubin, columnist for The Washington Post, concludes in her Sept. 14 op-ed, “If Biden does win, a good deal of the credit will go to women voters.” She contends Donald Trump’s race-baiting and condescension toward women, threatening to undo the Affordable Care Act and lying to the public about COVID-19 resulting in 209,863 deaths (and rising 924.7 deaths/day) are not welcomed by women.

A majority of women in every state are not pleased with Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate, which includes Iowa’s GOP Senators Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst, as they are purposely not permitting the Equal Rights Amendment to come up for debate. A whopping 78% of Americans favor the ERA becoming part of the U.S. Constitution.

Ads from The Lincoln Project (founded by long-term GOP financial supporters) and Republican Voters Against Trump are targeted to independent, Republican and Democrat females as women voters’ preference for Biden spans multiple issues including race relations, handling the COVID-19 pandemic, law and order, re-opening schools and economic recovery.

The theme of Iowa’s 19th Amendment Centennial Commemoration, which has been adopted by several states and cities, is Hard Won – Not Done. The 72 year fight (1848-1920) for females to have the right to vote was Hard Won. Women’s voting behavior in this year’s election may be a continued statement they are Not Done.

We’ll soon know if females voting presence in the Nov. 3 election is also carrying out the lyrics – and as a tribute – to the late Helen Reddy’s 1971 song: “I am woman, I am strong, hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore.”

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Steve Corbin, professor emeritus of marketing, University of Northern Iowa, is a non-paid freelance writer, opinion editor and guest columnist contributor to 149 newspapers in six states who receives no remuneration, funding or endorsement from any for-profit business, not-for-profit organization, Political Action Committee or political party.

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