The gender gap, a reality of American politics since the Roe v. Wade decision almost 50 years ago, is defining this 2016 election. But it is a different sort of gender gap — it originates with male voters, not women.
According to Fox News polls, Hillary Clinton is running 14 points ahead among women, down from President Barack Obama’s 16 point finish in 2012. But Donald Trump is running 22 points ahead among men, way up from Mitt Romney’s 7 point final margin in 2012.
The Trump candidacy is founded in this male gender gap. Women are dissenting from the national vote by their usual amount. But it is men who are really voting differently this year. On a cultural level, male voters are alienated by political correctness and the focus on the rights of everybody but men.
By contrast, female gender gap issues are somewhat less significant than they once were. While more Americans now describe themselves as pro-choice than pro-life, the underlying data suggests a lack of extreme views on the issue. Almost 30 percent, according to Gallup in May 2016, favor legalizing abortion “in all circumstances” while 19 percent support banning it all the time. The majority, 51 percent, wants it to be legal in only certain circumstances.
Meanwhile, dissatisfaction with wage stagnation, income inequality, the loss of manufacturing jobs, and the large amount of illegal immigration has spiraled, catalyzing Trump’s surprising march to the nomination.