Why Women are the Focus of the 2016 Election

Meet Ruline Steininger – born on April 14, 1913, she is now 103 years old. When Ruline was born, women did not have the right to vote. It wasn’t until Ruline was 7 years old that this changed. In 1920, the United States amended the Constitution to grant women the right to vote.

For the first time in her 103 years of life, Ruline is excited to go to the polls. She is thrilled to be casting her vote for Hillary Clinton, the first woman to ever be nominated by a major party. Ruline believes that Clinton will win the 2016 election.

This election isn’t a big deal just for Ruline—it’s monumental for women everywhere. Women have come a long way since 1920; they transformed from having silent voices to being the majority vote in America. 

The Past: Women Rise to Vote

Women Rise to Vote

Women have long struggled to gain suffrage – their fight for the right to vote dates as far back as the Civil War. It was generally thought that women did not need to be involved in politics. Society felt that women didn’t need the right to vote since their husbands would represent them.

They couldn’t have been more wrong. Nationwide, women voiced their disapproval and the battle for women’s suffrage began. Despite unsuccessful efforts to persuade Congress, they persevered and the battle grew prominent in the 19th century.

In 1920, the 19th amendment was approved in response to the tremendous effort and support women provided during World War I. The addition of this amendment to the Constitution was an incredible milestone for women—women were now recognized for the role they play in politics.

The Present: Why More Women Vote than Men

Mother and child in field of orange leaves

Recent history shows that women have exercised their right to vote more often than men. According to Washington Post, data illustrated that in 2012, 63.7% of all women voted. In contrast, only 59.8% of all men voted. This data suggests that the overall voter turnout for women is higher than men. There are 2 main theories for this:

  • Women are more likely to rely on government assistance. Women make up a larger percentage of those living in poverty. This means that women more often rely on government aid such as WIC, EBT, and food stamps. For this reason, women who depend on such aid have a higher probability to vote.
  • Women are more likely to be the primary caregiver. Women have a higher likelihood of providing care to elders, children, or the disabled. As a result, women spend more time interacting with government regulated employees. This includes their children’s teachers, seniors’ homecare workers, and family health insurance providers.

The Future: Women’s 2016 Election Choice

hillary clinton

The 2016 election is here. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are going out of their way to earn the vote of women everywhere. Here’s a breakdown of why women support one candidate over the other.

Hillary Clinton

  • First female president. Many women appreciate the idea of having the United States’ first female president. This is where a large portion of Clinton’s women supporters are coming from. They appreciate that Clinton can empathize with a woman’s trials and tribulations.
  • Experience. Women nationwide support Hillary Clinton as her past experiences have made her a qualified candidate for the Presidency. Such experiences include having been the first lady and worked in the office as Secretary of State.
  • Obama’s support.  President Obama recently made a statement declaring his full support for Clinton. Women who endorsed Obama for President are now showing that same support for Clinton. 
Donald Trump talking

Donald Trump

  • Republican party. A majority of Trump’s women supporters are also Republican party supporters. They support Trump solely for the reason that they don’t support the Democratic party. These women are loyal to the party and want to see a Republican president in the office.
  • Different direction. Women who plan to vote for Trump are expressing how they are proud of taking a different direction from the norm. They feel that just because they are women doesn’t mean they must support Clinton. There are floods of posts on Twitter from Trump’s women supporters who use the hashtag #WomenWhoVoteTrump.
  • Authenticity. Despite comments that Trump has recently made about women, his women supporters are willing to look past his remarks. They believe that although he may not be the most likeable candidate, he is true to himself.  They believe that he will be true to the American people, unlike Clinton.

Women’s Voice

Women have made great strides in their fight to gain voter rights. For the first time ever in America, women have the ability to vote for the first female president.  The significance of this event is shown in Ruline’s excitement to vote for Clinton. In her lifetime, Ruline has seen women make a huge leap forward in their political role. Her story inspires all women to take advantage of their right to vote.

Whether you are a woman who supports Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, you can make an impact now more than ever.