Gender at the California Primary


With new voting rules that allow for mail-in ballots to be postmarked the day of the primary, the results of the California Democratic presidential primary will not be known for several weeks.

But thanks to exit polls, we do know a few things about how the women of California who voted on Super Tuesday.

In terms of turnout, women made up a slight majority of Democratic primary voters – totaling 57% of the electorate.


Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

Looking at the gender divide, the contest between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden was much closer among male voters who preferred Sanders by almost 20 points, while female voters only gave Sanders a 4 point edge over Biden.


Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

And what about the gender gap – how did women differ from men in who they supported?

Similar to many other states, men in California were more likely than women to support Sanders (a 6 point gap) and at the far end of the spectrum women were more likely than men to support Biden (an 9 point gap).


Source: 3/3/20 California Exit Poll/Edison Research/National Election Pool

Note: The California Republican Party did hold a presidential preference contest with President Trump receiving 92% of the vote and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld receiving 2% of the vote. There is no exit poll data available.

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