Women and Politics

Archive Report

Reagan's ’Woman Problem’

Evidence of Gender Gap in Opinion Polls

As election day 1982 approaches, one of the hottest political topics is a phenomenon known as the “gender gap.” The results of the 1980 presidential election and numerous public opinion polls taken during President Reagan's first 20 months in office indicate a political parting-of-the-ways between men and women. Provoked by the president's opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment and his agenda of social program cuts and increased military spending, women have reported higher negative evaluations of Reagan and the Republican Party than have men.

In a Harris Survey released Aug. 17, 65 percent of the women questioned and 58 percent of the men had a negative opinion of Reagan's job performance; 42 percent of the men and ...

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