Gender Gap on Trump Approval Bigger Than Predecessors'
by Megan Brenan
- The average gender difference in Trump's job approval was 12 points in 2017
- Trump averaged 45% approval among men, 33% among women
- Gender difference is about double that of his three predecessors' first years
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The gender gap in Donald Trump's 2016 victory over
Hillary Clinton was the largest in election polling history, with significantly
more men than women supporting Trump. This sizable gender difference has
carried over to his job approval rating throughout the first year of his
presidency. The average difference in Trump's approval rating between
men and women was 12 percentage points in 2017, roughly double the differences
for the three presidents who served immediately before him.
Trump's annual average approval rating for his first year in office
was 45% among men and 33% among women. These sub-50% ratings for a president's
first year in office are unprecedented, as is the 12-point gender difference.
Historically, women have been a core Democratic constituency, whereas men
have been more likely to identify as Republicans, typically resulting
in a gender difference in how men and women rate the sitting president. A
recent Gallup analysis looking at Trump's job approval among demographic subgroups found
that while gender differences are mostly attributable to the party identification
of men and women, within each partisan group, men are slightly more likely
than women to approve of Trump.
Thus, when assessing the gender gap for a given president, it is important
to look how it compares with the gap for other presidents of the same
party. Trump's 12-point gap compares with a seven-point lag in women's
approval of George W. Bush in his first year and a six-point difference
over the course of his presidency.
The gender gap works in reverse for Democratic presidents, with women giving
them higher ratings than men do. The first-year and full-term gender gaps
for the last two Democratic presidents were similar to Bush's but
in the opposite direction, averaging four to six points.
Clinton, Bush and Obama all left office with lower approval ratings than
when they took office, but the gender gaps in their job approval remained
Trump's Approval Among Women Is Low and Steady
Trump had difficulty winning over women throughout his campaign, and not
just because he was a Republican. In March 2016, Gallup found little to
no gender gap in the favorable ratings of Trump's leading Republican
contenders, compared with a
substantial gap for him.
For her part, while Clinton was
quite unpopular overall, her standing with women was much better than her opponent's.
Mirroring this, there was, according to
exit polling, a historically large gender gap in the vote preferences of men and women
on Election Day, with men backing Trump (52%) in much higher numbers than
Trump's weekly average job approval ratings in 2017 ranged from 40%
to 51% among men and from 28% to 39% among women. Throughout the year,
the gap in approval between men and women held relatively steady, with
men supporting him at much higher levels.
The day after Trump was sworn in, more than 2 million women protested against
him in marches held all around the world. His first weekly approval rating
was 39% among women (the highest of his term so far) and 50% among men.
Trump's first-year overall job approval rating was the
lowest of any U.S. president in Gallup's polling history, and his support among women was particularly
low. During his first year in office, Trump did little to help himself
with women. Allegations of past sexual misconduct, including a videotape
in which he spoke of women in vulgar terms that erupted in the final weeks
of the campaign, continued to follow him, and policywise, he rolled back
several actions the Obama administration had taken to aid women. These
include a mandate requiring employers to provide free contraceptive coverage
to female employees and a rule that aimed to achieve equal pay for men
To kick off Trump's second year in office, women around the country
once again rallied to protest him. His approval rating among women hovers
around the 30% mark. With three years left in his term, Trump will have
to make great policy strides if he hopes to end his presidency in similar
standing to his predecessors. In the short term, he is not likely to be
much help in rallying women to support Republicans in the upcoming midterm
Explore President Trump's approval ratings and compare them with those
of past presidents in the
Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted
Jan. 20-Dec. 31, 2017, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random
sample of 171,474 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states
and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of
national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage
point at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error
include computed design effects for weighting.
Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone
respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas
by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are
selected using random-digit-dial methods.
Learn more about how the
Gallup U.S. Poll works.