Why do white married women tend to vote for conservative candidates?


Daria Shevtsova

In recent years, the rise of conservatives is conspicuous, led by the current President Donald Trump of the United States, and there are many cases that overturn previous public opinion surveys that 'liberal parties are advantageous'. Leah Ruppanner , a sociology associate professor at the University of Melbourne, argues that there is a group ofwhite married women ” as an easily overlooked group that is easy to vote for conservative parties.

Gender Linked Fate, Race / Ethnicity, and the Marriage Gap in American Politics

Why white married women are more likely to vote for conservative parties

In the 2016 US Presidential Election, Democratic Party Hillary Clinton was seen as advantageous from previous public opinion polls, but as a result, Republican President Trump was elected overturning most predictions . The 2019 Australian general election also predicted that the opposition's Labor Party would benefit, but the ruling conservative coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison won.

Ruppanner pointed out that women who supported conservatives in both countries have been overlooked in the preliminary survey, whereas the preliminary survey and the election results were different. Mr. Clinton was unable to collect votes for female voters, and many women supported the ruling party in the Australian general election. “Women's voters are swinging around US and Australian elections,” says Ruppanner.


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Ruppanner believes that the key to understanding conservative support by women is “linked fate”. The idea of linked fate is a concept that has been used to explain trends when minority racial groups determine their votes.

For example, African-Americans who are a minority in the United States generally have the perception that “the happiness of the entire African-American group leads to their own benefit”. In this way, the awareness that the fate is linked to the group's fate is that voters are more focused on the future of groups such as “African Americans” than personal issues, and African Americans are liberal candidates. Explain the tendency to vote


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Similarly, women are generally considered to be aware of “fate linked to the whole woman,” and women voters have been considered to vote for liberal female candidates. Therefore, Ruppanner's research team actually investigated the perception of women's “fate linked to the whole woman”. Then, it was found that the perception of 'fate linked to the whole woman' depends on two aspects: race and marital status.

African American women, for example, felt “fate linked to the whole woman” more strongly than white women, whether they were unmarried or married. However, for white or Latin women, the tendency to feel “fate linked to the whole woman” seems to change depending on whether they are unmarried or married.

Among white women, 38% of single women and 30% of divorced women strongly felt “fate linked to the whole woman”, but only 18% of married women “fate linked to the whole woman”. I did not feel strongly. Rappanner points out that Latin women also had the same trend, “for these two racial groups, it means that when you get married, women's connections weaken.”


Daria Shevtsova

Ruppanner believes that the change in perceptions of “fate linked to the whole woman” due to marriage is the reason why married white women tend to favor conservative parties. It is not the other woman but the other man who recognizes the fate linked by white and Latin married women.

When Ruppanner's research team interviewed 317 white women living in the United States, conservative married women tended to think that `` the better things are for men, the better their lives '' . In contrast, liberal married women tended to answer that they could “release their financial resources and privileges for other women”.

“Our findings suggest that married white women feel strongly connected with men and support conservatives in view of their family's future,” Ruppanner points out. Political scientists regard the rise of conservatives as unexpected, but considering voting trends among white married women is important in determining the political situation in recent years.

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