Nationally, Hillary Clinton leads among women voters — which might not be a surprise to many. But what is surprising is the capstone this marks in a decades-long trend of women voting Democratic.

Right now she polls comfortably ahead of Donald Trump. Presidential Gender Watch, a firm that tracks the gender gap (the difference between the proportions of women and men who support a given candidate), are finding that Clinton leads among ladies in the U.S. by double-digits.

Well-educated women, in particular, could be Trump’s Achille’s Heel. There are not enough white working-class men to overcome a large majority of them. “If the polls are accurate,” says the Brookings Institute, “even a supersized turnout of working-class white men would not be nearly enough for Trump to win the election.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers remarks to the Shale Insight Conference, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

A trend to follow

With the phenomenon of the first female nominee for a major party soaking in over the summer, the data gurus over at Pew Research Center took it upon themselves to compile the data displaying this trend in Democratic support among women and here’s what they found:

In the 1972 and 1976 elections, there was no difference in candidate support between men and women. Over the last nine presidential elections, however, women have consistently voted for Democratic presidential candidates at higher rates than men. Most recently, in 2012, there was a 10-percentage-point gender gap: 55% of women voted for Democrat Barack Obama over Republican Mitt Romney, compared with 45% of men. 

Men as a whole, their research found, are still about as evenly split as they once were. But women’s voting has been trending Democratic since at least the 1980s, and that shift has become even stronger with the surging Republican candidacy of Trump.


Issues most important to women 

Reasons Clinton leads by such a wide margin with women voters might be revealed by the issues overwhelmingly more important to them than to men: Abortion, the environment, and LGBT rights.


It should be noted the research was done before Trump rolled out his new child-care policy alongside daughter Ivanka this month, and we have yet to see if it’s made any impact on the numbers.

Is Hillary really that appealing?

Around the time of Clinton’s nomination, the New York Times found that even if women voters aren’t specifically thrilled with the idea of Clinton as president, a majority of them respect the milestone of a woman becoming nominee. For her part, Clinton often touts the glass ceiling she feels she has shattered with her defeat of Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries.

Whether or not Trump’s recent rise in polls has its own glass ceiling, however, is yet to be determined.