Minding the Gender Gap During the Trump Impeachment Inquiry

As the impeachment inquiry against the president continues to ramp up, recent polling makes one point abundantly clear: Women are driving public opinion. 

Support for Impeachment

A September 29 YouGov online poll for CBS shows that 57 percent of women approve of starting the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, compared to 52 percent of men—a five-point gender gap. Thirty-eight percent of women and 31 percent of men strongly approve.

A September 26 Marist poll for NPR/PBS NewsHour shows similar numbers, with the majority of the women approving starting impeachment: 54 percent of women versus 45 percent of men approve of the House’s formal impeachment inquiry: a nine-point gender gap. Thirty-four percent of women say they strongly approve, compared to just 26 percent of men. 

An even larger gender gap emerges when Marist poll respondents were asked about the seriousness of impeachment. Among women, 56 percent, compared to 44 percent of men, deem the impeachment inquiry into the president a “very serious matter”—a 12-point gender gap. By contrast, 53 percent of men versus 42 percent of women think the impeachment inquiry is “just politics.”

Women also question the president’s handling of the matters concerning Ukraine: the YouGov poll shows 59 percent believe Trump’s goals were mainly to help his own re-election, regardless of the impact on U.S. interests. This compares to 53 percent of men who believe the same.

That poll shows a strong majority—62 percent—of women view Trump’s dealings with Ukraine as “unusual” and “something that few or no other presidents have done with foreign countries.” By contrast, 53 percent of men believe the same: a nine-point difference. 

More women than men say impeachment will play a role in the 2020 election. Overall, 43 percent of women versus 37 percent of men say the impeachment inquiry into the president will be a factor in deciding their vote for president in next year’s elections—a six-point gender gap. Twenty-eight percent of women compared to 23 percent of men deem it to be a major factor, the Marist poll shows.

Trump’s approval is also dramatically underwater as well, especially in the eyes of women. According to the Marist poll, 58 percent of women across demographic groups disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, with 42 percent of women strongly disapproving. Conversely, 47 percent of men disapprove, and 36 percent of men strongly so.

Women voters, especially suburban women and women of color, played a major role in the decisive wins of the 2018 midterms, and when we look closely at polling this week, it’s clear that women’s attitudes are shaping the country’s overall sentiment on impeachment. 

About

Roxy Szal is a former editorial intern at Ms. After four years of teaching English to Texas middle-schoolers, she earned a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communications at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her graduate capstone project eventually grew into a misogyny in the media watchdog project called How Not to be Sexist.  She is now a freelance writer and editor. Follow Roxy on Twitter: @roxyszal