Biden and Trump voters, women’s gains, family and reproductive issues in election 2024

Biden and Trump voters differ sharply over the state of women’s progress in the U.S., as well as over whether society should prioritize marriage and children.

Yet majorities of both candidates’ supporters say that the gains women have made in society have not come at the expense of men.

Nearly two years after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed a right to abortion, the issue continues to divide the two coalitions: Biden supporters overwhelmingly say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while a narrower majority of Trump backers say it should not.

Chart shows How Biden and Trump voters view the state of women’s progress in the U.S.

But the two groups generally share the view that birth control and access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) should be widely available. Majorities of both Biden and Trump supporters view the broad availability of birth control as a good thing and say the same about access to IVF.

Views of women’s progress

Supporters of Joe Biden and Donald Trump have mirror-image views on whether women face obstacles to getting ahead in society that men do not.

  • About three-quarters of Biden supporters (73%) say there are still significant obstacles making it harder for women than men to get ahead. About a quarter (26%) say these obstacles are now largely gone.
  • In contrast, seven-in-ten Trump supporters say the obstacles that once made it harder for women than men to get ahead are now largely gone. About three-in-ten (29%) say women still face significant obstacles.

There were also wide gaps in these opinions during the 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.

Chart shows Men who support Biden and Trump are more likely than women to say that obstacles standing in the way of women’s progress are now largely gone

Differences between Biden and Trump voters are much more modest when it comes to views of whether women’s gains have come at the expense of men. Sizable majorities of both Biden (90%) and Trump supporters (74%) reject this idea.

Among both Biden supporters and Trump supporters, men are more likely than women to say the obstacles that once made it harder for women than men to get ahead are now largely gone.

Among Trump supporters, 83% of men say this, compared with 55% of women.

Almost four-in-ten men who back Biden (37%) say women’s obstacles to progress are now largely gone. Just 16% of women who back Biden say the same.

While most voters across age groups and genders say that gains women have made have not come at the expense of men, a third of men who support Trump do think women’s gains have cost men. This share increases to 40% among men under age 50 who support Trump. About 20% of women or fewer – regardless of age or which candidate they support – say that women’s gains come at the expense of men.

How much of a priority should marriage and children be?

Chart shows Trump supporters far more likely than Biden supporters to say society should prioritize marriage and having children

Roughly four-in-ten registered voters (39%) say society is better off if people make marriage and having children a priority, while a majority (59%) say society is just as well off if people have priorities other than family and children.

  • Trump supporters (59%) are much more likely than Biden supporters (19%) to say that it is better if people prioritize marriage and children.

There are modest differences between men and women in whether focusing on marriage and children makes society better.

  • About six-in-ten men who support Trump (63%) say this, compared with 54% of Trump-supporting women. There is a similar gender gap among Biden supporters (22% of men vs. 16% of women).

Black voters who support Biden (29%) are more likely than White (17%) and Hispanic (16%) Biden supporters to say an emphasis on marriage and family makes society better off. Two-in-ten Asian voters who back Biden say this.

Marriage and children

Chart shows Large gender gap among Trump supporters on comfort with women keeping their names after marriage

Three-quarters of registered voters say they are comfortable with women not taking their husbands’ last names when they get married. Just a quarter are uncomfortable with this.

However, Trump supporters (37%) are much more likely than Biden supporters (13%) to express discomfort with married women not taking their husbands’ last names.

And men who support Trump (44%) are more likely than women who support him (29%) to say they are uncomfortable with the practice of women not taking their husbands’ last names.

Related: About 8 in 10 women in opposite-sex marriages say they took their husband’s last name

The nation’s fertility rate, which has been declining for years, is now at its lowest point in more than a century, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control. About four-in-ten voters (43%) say it is neither good nor bad for society that people are having fewer children; 35% view this trend negatively, while 22% say it is good for society.

Chart shows How voters see the declining birth rate

Biden supporters have mixed views of the fact that people are having fewer children. Half say this is neither good nor bad, 27% view this as good for society, and 23% say it is bad.

Trump supporters – especially men who back Trump – view this trend more negatively.

  • Nearly half of Trump supporters (47%), including a 56% majority of men who support Trump, say it is bad for society that people are having fewer children. Roughly four-in-ten women who support Trump (37%) see this trend as a bad thing.

Abortion, IVF access and birth control

Abortion deeply divides supporters of Biden and Trump. About nine-in-ten Biden supporters (88%) say abortion should be legal in most (46%) or all (42%) cases. Just 11% of Biden supporters say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

Chart shows Deep divisions on abortion between Biden and Trump voters

Conversely, about six-in-ten Trump supporters (61%) say abortion should be illegal in all (11%) or most (50%) cases. A significant minority of Trump supporters say abortion should be legal in most or all cases (38%).

Related: Broad Public Support for Legal Abortion Persists 2 Years After Dobbs

Age, gender differences among Trump supporters – but not Biden supporters – on abortion

Chart shows About half of Trump supporters under 35 say abortion should be legal in all or most cases

About half of Trump supporters ages 18 to 34 (51%) say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, a substantially higher share than among older Trump supporters (35% of those 35 and older).

Among Biden supporters, nearly nine-in-ten across all age groups say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Both women and men who back Trump are more likely to say abortion should be illegal than to say it should be legal. However, more women who support Trump (41%) say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared with 34% of men who support Trump.

There is no difference in these views between women and men who support Biden.

By contrast, 73% of all voters – including majorities of Biden (83%) and Trump supporters (64%) – say access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a good thing.

Related: Americans overwhelmingly say access to IVF is a good thing

Chart shows Most voters say widespread access to birth control is good for society

Voters overwhelmingly express positive views of birth control, condoms and other forms of contraception being widely available in the United States. Nearly eight-in-ten (79%) say this is very or somewhat good for society, 13% view it as neither good nor bad, and 7% say it is bad.

  • 93% of Biden supporters and 66% of Trump supporters say it’s good for society that birth control is widely available.
  • Men who support Trump (61%) are less likely than women who back the former president (73%) to say that birth control being widely available is good for society. There is no meaningful gender gap on this question among Biden supporters.

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