What exit polls from the 2020 Presidential Election tell us about white women

Many Americans have been holding their breath for the last four years in anticipation of the 2020 Presidential election. Voters flocked to the polls in record numbers to cast their ballots and President-elect Joe Biden received more votes than any presidential candidate in U.S. history. President Donald Trump received the second-largest voter turnout, proving how many ballots were cast this election. Now that all the votes are officially in, leaving Joe Biden with 306 electoral votes and Donald Trump with 232, the demographics are becoming increasingly clear. 

Exit polls conducted by CNN indicate that Donald Trump’s main demographic was white men, with a total of 61% of their vote, while Biden’s leading demographic was Black women, where he led with 90% of their vote. When polling both the sex and race of voters, the only categories Trump won in were white men and women, whereas 71% of voters of color voted for Biden.

The majority of exit polls based on demographics were not a surprise. To make the numbers less confusing, I’ll be using the numbers obtained by CNN in this article. It was expected Biden would be exponentially more popular with people of color due to Trump’s history of racist comments. However, Trump is also known for his blatant sexism, so why did more white women vote for him over Biden?

Education, age and wealth are three components that contributed to this outcome. Although as a whole 55% of white women voted for Trump, 51% of white voters with a college degree voted for Biden, and 56% of that group aged 18-44 also voted for Biden. Fifty-six percent of those with an income of less than $100,000, regardless of race or gender, voted for Biden, while the majority of those with a higher income voted for Trump.       

While white women still face sexism in this country, they are granted an immense amount of other privileges that can be blinding when they enter the voting booth. Their economic or religious concerns often take precedent over their gender rights. Behind white men, white women are frequently the next in line when it comes to societal progression. They were granted the right to vote 45 years before people of color and still reap the rewards today. 

White women are closer to closing the wage gap in comparison to women of color, which results in more opportunities and resources for them across the board. The threat to women’s bodies and access to birth control does not apply to women with privilege because they will have access to these necessities regardless of whether it is legal or not. Trump’s pro-life and anti-Planned Parenthood policies disproportionately affect women of a lower socioeconomic status, which can explain why white women are still compelled to vote for Trump.

It’s difficult to comprehend how any woman could vote for a man that continues to publicly objectify women even after being caught on tape bragging about sexual assault. It is not unheard of for women to support their oppressors, especially if they hold enough privilege to feel sexist rhetoric does not apply to them.