The Fate of the Midterm Elections Lie in the Hands of White Women

The fate of the November 6th midterm election lies in the hands of white women. Democrats hold a 36-29 majority in the House and Republicans are barely holding a 18-17 majority in the Senate.

White women will likely be the deciding voters of this tipping point between the two parties.

White women, both with college degrees and without college degrees played an essential role in the election and nomination of Donald Trump. In fact, according to 2016 exit polls (though often over exaggerated based on logistics), 52% of white women voted for Trump and the Republican Party.

However, according to a recent poll conducted by Politico and Morning Consultant, women’s support for Trump has fallen around 19% since his election in 2016. A poll posted on The Washington Post also showed that 62% of college-educated white women are planning on voting for the Democratic Party. In battleground districts, more and more women are leaning toward Democratic support. On another hand, an astonishing amount of uneducated white women are sticking with Trump and the Republican Party for the midterms.

Image source: Giacomo Ferroni on Unsplash

Author Trip Gabriel also explains in a New York Times piece that Republicans are targeting educated suburban white women whose husbands still support Trump. Essentially, Republicans are trying to protect their seats by disqualifying Democrats and attempting to persuade, along with induce fear in white women about illegal immigrants, taxes, and national security.

How is it possible that there could be such a huge split between women, even amongst the same race? After several sexual harassment cases against Trump and members of his party since the 2016 election, it appears women — regardless of race or educational level ─ should be in a singular agreeance to combat sexism and sexual harassment. However, this does not seem to be the case. In an article posted on The New York Times, author Susan Chira explains that a large group of white women “[cling] to the advantage of being white as a compensation for the disadvantage of being a woman.”

The varying degrees of support from white women is difficult to comprehend. Are they interested in shaping and changing policies that effect gender inequality, or are they more interested in policies that effect those unlike them, such as immigration laws? 

This is a terrifying, yet exciting midterm election. White women hold a lot of power, and it is important that moving forward during this election they will use their privilege to better the future legislators and legislation that will better the lived of other women, men, and children.

Image source: Melany Rochester on Unsplash