Guadagno Could Be Hurt By Gender Gap

Oct 30, 2017

Kim Guadagno

Republican Kim Guadagno is hoping to be the second woman elected Governor of New Jersey, but female voters are showing more support for Democrat Phil Murphy.

Only 29 percent of likely women voters surveyed by Quinnipiac University favor Guadagno while 65 percent support Murphy.

Debbie Walsh, the director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, says that fits with the gender gap observed since 1980. 

"Women are more likely to support the Democratic candidate than men are, less likely to support the Republican candidate then men are. And it really is not about the gender of the candidate. It is about the gender of the voters." 

Walsh says women see themselves as more economically vulnerable than men and favor the Democratic Party and its longstanding support of social safety-net programs.

Rowan University political science professor Kathy Javian say women's strong support for Murphy could reflect Guadagno's association with the Christie administration.

"It could just be that women are sort of more opposed to the current administration than men are at the moment."

Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor Krista Jenkins says it’ll be hard for Guadagno to close the gap with Murphy by election day.

“It would be very difficult for her to overcome the sizeable gender gap that she has right now in a week’s time. Barring some shock to the system, some revelation associated with Murphy that would turn the tables on this dynamic, it would be historic if she were able to do this.”