Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Dynamics of the Partisan Gender Gap


Gender differences in vote choice, opinion, and party identification have become a common feature of the American political landscape. We examine the nature and causes of gender differences in partisanship using a time series approach. We show that gender differences are pervasive—existing outside of the context of specific elections or issues—and that they are a product of the interaction of societal conditions and politics. We find that from 1979 to 2000, the partisan gender gap has grown when the political climate moved in a conservative direction, the economy deteriorated, and the percentage of economically vulnerable, single women increased. The gender gap is likely to be a continual feature of the American political landscape: one that shapes everything from elite political behavior to election outcomes.

Corresponding author
Professor, Department of Political Science, Ohio State University, 2140 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210-1373 (
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University, 219 Pond Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802 (
Associate Professor, Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1800, Austin, TX 78712 (
Hide All
AbramowitzAlan I., and KylL. Sanders. 1998Ideological Realignment in the U.S. Electorate.” Journal of Politics60(August): 63452.

Box-SteffensmeierJanet M., and SuzannaDe Boef. 2001Macro-partisanship and Macroideology in the Sophisticated Electorate.” Journal of Politics63(1): 23248.

Box-SteffensmeierJanet M., and Renée M.Smith. 1996The Dynamics of Aggregate Partisanship.” American Political Science Review90(3): 56780.

Box-SteffensmeierJanet M., and Renée M.Smith. 1998Investigating Political Dynamics Using Fractional Integration Methods.” American Journal of Political Science42(2): 66189.

ChaneyCarole, R. MichaelAlvarez, and JonathanNagler. 1998Explaining the Gender Gap in U.S. Presidential Elections, 1980–1992.” Political Research Quarterly51(June): 31139.

Conover PamelaJohnston, and VirginiaSapiro. 1993Gender, Feminist Consciousness, and War.” American Journal of Political Science37(November): 107999.

Cook ElizabethAdell, and ClydeWilcox. 1991Feminism and the Gender Gap: A Second Look.” Journal of Politics53(November): 111122.

DoornikJurgen A., and MariusOoms. 2003Computational Aspects of Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Autoregressive Fractionally Integrated Moving Average Models.” Computational Statistics and Data Analysis42(March): 33348.

FairRay C.1978The Effect of Economic Events on Votes for President.” Review of Economics and Statistics60(May): 15973.

FairRay C.1982The Effect of Economic Events on Votes for President: 1980 Results.” Review of Economics and Statistics64(May): 32225.

FreemanJohn R., John T.Williams, and Tse-minLin. 1989Vector Autoregression and the Study of Politics.” American Journal of Political Science33(November): 84277.

FriedrichRobert J.1982In Defense of Multiplicative Terms in Multiple Regression Equations.” American Journal of Political Science26(November): 797833.

GrangerC. W. J., and RoselyneJoyeux. 1980An Introduction to Long-Memory Time Series Models and Fractional Differencing.” Journal of Time Series Analysis1(1): 1529.

HaughLarry D., and G. E. P.Box. 1977Identification of Dynamic Regression (Distributed Lag) Models Connecting Two Time Series.” Journal of the American Statistical Association72(March): 12130.

HauserMichael A.1999Maximum Likelihood Estimators for ARMA and ARFIMA Models: A Monte Carlo Study.” Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference80(August): 22955.

KaufmannKaren M., and John R.Petrocik. 1999The Changing Politics of American Men: Understanding the Sources of the Gender Gap.” American Journal of Political Science43(July): 86487.

KleinEthel. 1984Gender Politics: From Consciousness to Mass Politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

KramerGerald H. 1971Short-Term Fluctuations in U.S. Voting Behavior, 1896–1964.” American Political Science Review 65 (March): 13143.

LeboMatthew J., and Harold D.Clarke. 2000Modeling Memory and Volatility: Recent Advances in the Analysis of Political Time Series.” Electoral Studies19(1): 17.

LeboMatthew J., Robert W.Walker, and Harold D.Clarke. 2000You Must Remember This: Dealing with Long Memory in Political Analysis.” Electoral Studies19(1): 3148.

ManzaJeff and ClemBrooks. 1998The Gender Gap in U.S. Presidential Elections: When? Why? Implications?American Journal of Sociology103(March): 123566.

MayAnn Mari, and KurtStephenson. 1994Women and the Great Retrenchment: The Political Economy of Gender in the 1980s.” Journal of Economic Issues28(June): 53342.

MillerWarren E.1991Party Identification, Realignment, and Party Voting: Back to Basics.” American Political Science Review85: 55768.

NorranderBarbara. 1997The Independence Gap and the Gender Gap.” Public Opinion Quarterly61(Fall): 46476.

RohdeDavid W.1991Parties and Leaders in the Postreform House. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

RuddickSara. 1980Maternal Thinking.” Feminist Studies6: 34267.

SapiroVirginia, and Conover. 1997The Variable Gender Basis of Electoral Politics—Gender and Content in the 1992 U.S. Election.” British Journal of Political Science27(October): 497523.

Schlozman KayLehman, NancyBurns, SidneyVerba, and JesseDonahue. 1995Gender and Citizen Participation: Is There a Different Voice?American Journal of Political Science39(May): 26793.

SowellFallaw. 1992Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Stationary Univariate Fractionally Integrated Time Series Models.” Journal of Econometrics53(July): 16588.

StimsonJames A., Michael B.MacKuen, and Robert S.Erikson. 1995Dynamic Representation.” American Political Science Review89(3): 54365.

WelchSusan, and JohnHibbing. 1992Financial Conditions, Gender, and Voting in American National Elections.” Journal of Politics54(February): 197213.

WirlsDaniel. 1986Reinterpreting the Gender Gap.” Public Opinion Quarterly50(Autumn): 31630.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 36
Total number of PDF views: 251 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 682 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.