chapter  6
21 Pages

Women and the 2016 Presidential Election

Unrealistic Expectations of Cohesiveness
WithSusan A. MacManus

Women have been the majority of voters in every election since 1964. In the 2016 election, they were everywhere in every phase of the election—from campaign strategists and managers; TV anchors and reporters; debate moderators; and surrogates on the campaign trail, including daughters Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump, to presidential candidates—Hillary Clinton (Democratic party), Carly Fiorina (Republican party), and Jill Stein (Green party). The tendency to overestimate the cohesiveness of the female vote is nothing new. Clinton consciously tied her campaign to Obama's presidency, hoping to replicate his winning coalition of millennials, minorities, and single women. Campaign strategists warn against one-size-fits-all prescriptions for how to win the women's vote, particularly in presidential elections with marked demographic, socioeconomic, and partisan differences across the states. A big lesson learned anew from this election is that women in America are diverse politically, economically, and culturally.