Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight tweeted two maps on Wednesday showing how the U.S. presidential election would play out if only people of either sex voted.
Turns out that if only men voted, the political landscape in 2016 would be very different. Toss-up states like Ohio, Nevada, and Arizona would become red. Clinton would lose her 9-point lead in Pennsylvania and the state’s Republicans would rally behind Trump. A Republican would win Virginia for the first time since 2004. Other than the God-less, blue-for-life West Coast states and much of the East Coast and Illinois, the country would turn as red as a stoplight.
If only men voted, the United States may finally have… consensus.
What Silver’s gender breakdown of the 2016 election makes most obvious is how vital women have increasingly become to a Republican winning the presidency. As Pew notes, women didn’t start voting differently than men until after the 1976 presidential election. As more women completed college and entered the workforce, issues like abortion and equal pay became increasingly important.
Women have voted for the Democratic presidential candidate at a higher percentage than men for the last nine elections. The voting preferences of women didn’t make a difference until the 2008 and 2012 elections, where the votes of women and minorities sealed a victory for President Barack Obama. The gender gap in 2012 was the largest in history, according to Gallup, with Obama winning among female voters by 12 points. And the gender gap may grow even wider in 2016. Clinton is leading among women by 15 points, according to FiveThirtyEight’s average of October national polls.
Some in Trump’s base didn’t see it that way. The answer to solving the gender disparity in presidential elections wasn’t increasing Trump’s appeal among female voters. It was eliminating female voters all together! Genius move.
Following the release of Silver’s hypothetical map, #repealthe19th began to trend on Twitter.
The suggestion of repealing the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—which granted women the right to vote in 1920—was ridiculous enough to even turn off some Trump supporters.
Repealing any of the amendments to the constitution requires two-thirds of approval from both the House and the Senate, or two-thirds of the state legislatures, or five Supreme Court justices. Men vastly outnumber women in each body of government (unless you count the Supreme Court’s three women to five men), but it’s very unlikely such a scenario would ever unfold since Democrats—both men and women—need the votes of women to stay in office.