Gender at the Michigan Primary

Betsy Fischer Martin | Mar 11, 2020

 

Joe Biden won a decisive victory in the closely watched Michigan Primary beating Bernie Sanders by 17 points. Michigan was the largest delegate prize in the slate of six states holding primaries the week after Super Tuesday when the field narrowed to two candidates.  Sanders campaigned heavily in the state and was hoping to repeat his primary win in Michigan four years ago.

What do we know about the women of Michigan who voted in the Democratic primary ?

In terms of turnout, women made up a majority of Democratic primary voters – totaling 54% of the electorate.

2020 DEM MI PRIMARY TURNOUT

Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

Overall, Joe Biden won female Democratic primary voters with 58% compared to Sanders with 35%.

WOMEN SUPPORT

Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

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

Michigan, along with Washington, had one of the most pronounced gender gaps among the six states voting on March 10th.  Men were more likely than women to support Sanders (an 8 point gap) while women were more likely than men to support Biden (an 11 point gap).

MICHIGAN GENDER GAP

Source: 3/10/20 Michigan Exit Poll/Edison Research/National Election Pool

While Biden won among most demographics, he lost non-married men and had tighter margins among non-married women.   Among married women, however, he had a 37 point advantage over Sanders.

NON-MARRIED WOMEN PIE CHART (21% of Electorate)

Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

NON-MARRIED MEN PIE CHART (22% of Electorate)

Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

MARRIED WOMEN PIE CHART (31% of Electorate)

Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

MARRIED MEN PIE CHART (27% of Electorate)

Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

Note: The Michigan Republican Party did hold a presidential preference contest with President Trump receiving 93% of the vote and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld receiving 1% of the vote. There is no exit poll data available.

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