Poll: Discussing Women’s Issues Doesn’t Help Female Presidential Candidates
Most Americans agree that women get paid less than men for doing the same job and many said it was a serious problem.
A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Tuesday, however, showed talking about the pay gap or other gender issues doesn’t help Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton or GOP hopeful Carly Fiorina.
“More than two-thirds (69 percent) believe that women are paid less than men for similar work, and almost half consider it a ‘significant’ problem, with an additional 40 percent who see it as a ‘minor’ problem,” said Krista Jenkins, professor of political science at FDU and director of PublicMind.
Gender differences could be found in the survey. They included:
- 76 percent of women said the pay gap exists;
- 61 percent of men felt it exists;
- 51 percent of voting women thought the pay gap is a significant problem; and
- 36 percent felt it was a significant problem.
Slightly more than 1-in-ten (13 percent) believed the wage gap is not a problem at all. Current research suggests women earn 79 cents to every dollar earned by men.
When Republicans and Democrats were asked about Fiorina or Clinton talking about women’s issues, support for Fiorina went down 3 percentage points while Clinton’s went down 9 points.
“It kind of makes sense for Carly Fiorina because Republicans are simply less likely to both recognize and identify the pay gap as a significant problem, but the numbers for Hillary Clinton suggest that talking about the pay gap or women’s issues in general may work to her disadvantage among registered democrats," Jenkins said.
The survey didn’t answer the gender issues question definitively, Jenkins said, but it did give some insight into how, if at all, gender is playing a role in voters’ minds.