When Gender Didn’t Matter

The January 2018 issue of New Labor Forum, off press this week, grapples with perhaps the most perplexing of the 2016 election polling data: the fact that a majority of white women voters helped elect Donald J. Trump. In our feature article, Sarah Jaffe deciphers this political enigma, which will prove vital if the change in political tides apparently  underway is to become more permanent.

Certainly banners held aloft at last weekend’s massive Women’s Marches, from Sioux Falls to San Francisco and from Los Vegas to L.A., showed a rejection of the President’s racist and anti-immigrant invective, an eagerness to “grab ’em by the midterms,” and a determination that “Time’s Up” on sexual harassment from the corridors of government to the night shift and the factory floor. Current polling, cited below, indicates that some mix of these views has now become widespread among the female electorate. Also highlighted in this newsletter is a New Labor Forum-hosted debate, featuring J. Philip Thompson and Adam Hilton, concerning the distinct choices confronting progressives in and around the Democratic Party, an issue of obvious salience through the midterms and well beyond.

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Table of Contents

  1. Why Did a Majority of White Women Vote for Trump? Sarah Jaffe/ New Labor Forum
  2. White women helped carry Trump to the White House. Now they overwhelmingly favor Democrats. Poll Watch/ This Week
  3. Is Now the Time to Break with the Democrats?: A Debate- J. Phillip Thompson & Adam Hilton/ New Labor Forum
  4. What is required to build a multi-racial working-class political movement? J. Phillip Thompson & Liza Featherstone/ The Murphy Institute

Why Did a Majority of White Women Vote for Trump?
By Sarah Jaffe/ New Labor Forum

No single fact about the highly improbable election of Donald Trump seems to be more confounding than the fact that Trump’s margin of victory included a slim majority of white women voters. White women were presumed to be in the bag for Hillary Clinton; after all, she would be the first woman president. When the tape of Trump bragging about what sounded a lot like sexual assault hit the airwaves, reporters assumed—not for the first time—that his campaign was toast.

Read the full article here. 

White women helped carry Trump to the White House. Now they overwhelmingly favor Democrats. 
Poll Watch/ This Week 

Democrats can thank women voters for their surging advantage on a generic ballot ahead of the hugely important 2018 midterm elections, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll has found. Although white women supported Trump by nine points in 2016 and Republicans by 14 points in the 2014 midterm, the demographic has since swung to favor Democrats over Republicans by 12 points on a generic ballot. Overall, women voters now favor Democrats by a 26-point advantage…

Read the full article here.

Is Now the Time to Break with the Democrats?: A Debate
J. Phillip Thompson & Adam Hilton/ New Labor Forum

What should be the strategy on the left at this time? Should labor, black, Latino, radical women, and LGBTQ activists continue to work within the Democratic Party—given its predominant neoliberal leadership? Should they try to build a third party to the left of the Democrats…

Read the full article here. 


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