Facts & Figures

  • A Growing Gender Divide Among Young Voters
  • The Political Transformation of White Evangelical Protestants
  • Abortion is a Critical Concern for Young Women

A Growing Gender Divide Among Young Voters: Young voters were key to the Democratic Party’s surprising performance in the 2022 midterm elections. However, there was a pronounced gender gap young voters’ candidate preference. Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of young women voted for a Democrat compared to more than half (54 percent) of young men, an 18-point difference. After Dobbs, abortion became an extraordinarily salient issue during the 2022 campaign, especially for young women. Yet, it might not be entirely responsible for the widening divide. The gender gap in political preference grew considerably after Donald Trump’s election in 2016. As noted in a recent American Storylines newsletter, “Before Trump, Democratic candidates averaged around 60 percent of the vote among young women. That number rose to 70 percent in the years following his election.”

The Political Transformation of White Evangelical Protestants: White evangelical Christians have been an important Republican constituency for years, but their partisan commitments have undergone a remarkable change over the past two decades. In 1998, only slightly more than half (53 percent) of white evangelical Christians identified as a Republican or said they leaned towards the GOP. Twenty years later, more than three-quarters (76 percent) of white evangelical Christians are Republican. Over this time, the percentage identifying or leaning towards the Democratic Party has dropped considerably as well. Only 19 percent of white evangelical Christians are Democrats today, down from 41 percent in 1998.

Abortion is a Critical Concern for Young Women: Of all the issues driving young female voters to the polls this November, only inflation comes close to rivaling abortion. Young women today are 25 points more likely than the general public to rank abortion as a critical issue, marking a major shift. In addition to expressing more concern about the issue than other Americans, young women are also far more supportive of legal abortion. A new report, Gender Generation and Abortion: Shifting Politics and Perspectives After Roe,” finds that nearly half of young women say abortion should be available without any restrictions and that roughly three-quarters say it should be legal in most circumstances.