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What Quinnipiac Reveals About Gender

Jan Egil Kristiansen

Today’s Quinnipiac University poll shows if the election for U.S. Senate were held today, 44 percent favor Democrat Bruce Braley and 40 percent favor Republican Joni Ernst.

Additionally, Quinnipiac finds Braley polling stronger with women by 11 percentage points, and Ernst holding a 4 percent lead with men.*

Dianne Bystrom, Director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics says this is not surprising since the gender gap is more driven by partisan politics than the sex of the voter.

"I think the important things for Joni Ernst is, she has a very small gender gap in her base between men and women. And so I think, because she's a woman, she has a small gap in that base of support than would a male Republican candidate."

Bystrom points out respondents say Braley will do the best on every stereotypical “feminine” issue listed, such as healthcare and gun control.

She says this isn’t unusual, "Feminine issues are more linked with the Democratic Party and masculine issues with the Republican Party."

If Ernst wins the November election she will be the first Iowa woman to serve as a U.S. Senator.

 *Editor's note: Previously this report erroneously stated women voters favor Braley by 7 percentage points