A project of
February 15, 2017
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Texas voter ID law would have prevented 16,400 from voting in November

At least 16,400 Texans who voted in the November election wouldn’t have been able to cast ballots if the state’s voter identification law had been in full effect, state voting records show.” This report from the Austin American-Statesman is a chilling reminder of what experts agree is the true intent of such laws: disenfranchising voters.

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said the volume of the declarations validates the concerns that the law’s opponents raised. “The voter ID law was going to take away the legal right to vote of 2,300 people” in the county, she said. The voters who signed those declarations, she said, “tended to be poor, tend to be elderly — maybe they weren’t born in a hospital or had other extenuating circumstances.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose office has defended the law, didn’t respond to a request for comment.”

However, former Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos, an Abbott appointee who stepped down after the November election, admits that the law would have prevented voters from casting their ballots: “Asked if that meant those voters would have been disenfranchised, Cascos said, “I would agree. That is a way to look at it.”

“And, he observed, the number of potentially disenfranchised voters “might not be important for a presidential race or a statewide race, but it very well might matter for local votes, where there can be really small margins.”

“At the end of the day, we want to make sure every qualified Texan who can vote should be allowed to vote,” he said, “(16,000) people wanted to vote and got to vote, so that’s great.

Full story in the Austin American-Statesman.

February 7, 2017
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Data on the Women's March: This is what Democracy Looks Like!

The numbers are in: “The Women’s March of 2017 was the largest protest in recent history, bringing together over 500,000 people in DC- the location of the flagship march, and over 2.9 million people nationwide.”

Their findings “suggest that the Women’s March has potentially lit the political fires of a new generation of activists and reactivated the political activism of others. Indeed, a third of the participants reported that the Women’s March was their first time participating in a protest ever. For over half of the participants (55.9%), the March was their first protest in 5 years (including those who had never participated before).”

Even more interesting: “Respondents were also asked to identify the issues that motivated them to protest.  Our data suggest protesters were unified by a range of distinct and overlapping priorities. Given the name of the march, it is not surprising that 60.6% of respondents cited women’s rights as a motivation for protesting.  However, other social issues were also at the forefront of protesters’ minds. Nearly tied for second place, protesters cited the environment (35.5%), racial justice (35.1%), LGBTQ rights (34.7%), and reproductive rights (32.7%) as motivations to attend. Other political issues were also well represented including equality (25.1%), social welfare (23.1%) and immigration (21.6%).  Indeed, rather than representing a narrow set of interests, protesters identified multiple and diverse motivations for participating.”

Read the full report at TSP HQ.

January 13, 2017
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The 2017 Agenda: The Affordable Care Act and the New American Majority

As part of our overall goal to collect and highlight data that reveals the economic and political conditions of unmarried women and the New American Majority (which also includes people of color and millennials), we’ve analyzed how repealing the Affordable Care Act would affect these crucial populations, and collected polling data on what Americans think about the ACA. We’ve also done some preliminary analysis of some of the Republican “replacement” plans, and put together a list of policy considerations for unmarried women in particular in any discussion of repealing and replacing the ACA.

Here are some of the things we found:

  • The Affordable Care Act is helping Americans. It has helped cut the uninsured rate for adults ages 18-64 by 43%, a change that has particularly helped unmarried women. In 2013, 10.1 unmarried women 18-64 were uninsured; by 2015, that number had fallen to 6.8 million.
  • According to a November 2016 poll from Kaiser Health Tracking, most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are extremely popular—including allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ plan until age 26 (85% in favor), eliminating many out-of-pocket expenses for preventative services (83%), providing subsidies to low- and moderate-income Americans to help them get insurance coverage (80%), and prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage due to preexisting conditions (69%). Additionally, a January 2017 poll from Quinnipiac (conducted after this report was completed) indicates that only 18% of Americans want to repeal the ACA.
  • According to analysts, the “replacement” plans being proposed would cost more money, cover fewer Americans, or both — and, of course, repealing the ACA without replacing it would take away health coverage from tens of millions of Americans, with a particularly heavy impact on the New American Majority.

Downloads

A brief overview of the findings of our full report on the possible impacts of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act for unmarried women and the New American Majority.
Analysis of how the Affordable Care Act has helped unmarried women and the New American Majority—and the possible impacts of repealing and replacing the ACA.
December 5, 2016
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Job Segregation Keeps 1 in 4 Working Women in Traditional Care, Serving, and Cleaning Roles with Lowest Pay

A new study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and Oxfam America finds that more than one in four employed women in the United States are concentrated in low-wage “women’s work”—such as teaching young children, cleaning, serving, and caring for elders—jobs that are done primarily by women, pay less than $15 per hour, and provide few benefits.

Workers in these female-dominated jobs, who are disproportionately women of color, earn less than men working in jobs with similar requirements for education, skills, stamina, and hours. For instance, maids and housekeepers, who earn $9.94 per hour, are 90 percent female, while janitors, who are mostly men, earn 22 percent more, at $12.13 per hour.

October 17, 2016
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538: Men are treating 2016 as a normal election. Women aren't.

Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight sums up the current polling:

We could be looking at the largest gender gap in a presidential election since at least 1952…The last time women favored either party’s nominee by more than 20 percentage points was in 1972, when Republican Richard Nixon crushed Democrat George McGovern among both sexes. The only Democrat ever to win women by more than 20 points was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.”

September 29, 2016
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New Census Data Shows a Huge Gender Gap in Income

The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest report gives undeniable evidence of “a persisting large gender gap in incomes in the United States. The fact that nearly one fifth of all family households are headed by a single woman and that these households have incomes far below the national average, is cause for major concern.”

WIAReport continues, “for single women living alone, the median income in 2015 was $29,022. For single men living alone, the median income was $40,762. Thus, single women had a median income of 71.2 percent of the median income of single men.”

Indeed, the data shows that the median income for households headed by single women in 2015 was $37,797, and that these counted for 19% of all households in America.

Read more about the report at Women in Academia.

September 16, 2016
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Washington Post: Clinton and Trump’s demographic tug of war

Which candidates are earning the support of the Rising American Electorate? The Washington Post’s new graphic gives us some insight:

The presidential contest is often compared to a horse race, with the candidates fighting to finish in first place Election Day. We offer a bit of a different metaphor here. The campaign is also a series of simultaneously fought tug-of-war matches for different demographic groups — based on gender, age and race/ethnicity among others.

August 30, 2016
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Pew: This may be the last presidential election dominated by Boomers and prior generations

In a new report, Pew Research Center’s Richard Fry writes that “For the past few decades, presidential elections have been dominated by voters of the Baby Boom and previous generations, who are estimated to have cast a majority of the votes. But their election reign may end this November.”

Fry goes on to explore the demographic shifts that would make this true: “As of July, an estimated 126 million Millennial and Gen X adults were eligible to vote (56% of eligible voters), compared with only 98 million Boomers and other adults from prior generations, or 44%” of eligible voters.

What’s the problem? In one word: turnout. “We won’t know until after November if Boomers and their elders will pass the torch to Gen X and Millennials as a share of voters, but all the available data suggest that the 2016 election will mark the beginning of a new era for U.S. presidential elections.”

Read the full report.

August 24, 2016
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Great New Interactive Feature from Pew: The Elections Performance Index

The Pew Charitable Trusts have just published a new Elections Performance Index, an interactive feature with data from “the first comprehensive assessment of election administration in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.”

Using indicators for ballot access and ease of voting like voter turnout, registration rate, registration or absentee ballot problems, and voting wait time, they’ve assigned each state a percentage score for its election administration for every federal election from 2008 to 2014. In the 2014 election, the state with the best score was was North Dakota, with 84%; the bottom-scoring state was Alabama, with 49%.

pew-epi-rankings

In their interactive data feature, you can view each state’s scores on all of the individual indicators, a ranked list of all the states, or compare states’ scores from election to election. It’s a great tool to see how voters in many states still face significant challenges in order to raise their voice in our democracy.

How does your state stack up in Pew’s rankings? Find out here.

August 15, 2016
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EPI: "Women's work" and the gender pay gap

The Economic Policy Institute took an in-depth look at the pay gap, and the factors that cause it. Finding that “Women are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to mendespite the fact that over the last several decades millions more women have joined the workforce and made huge gains in their educational attainment,” the authors conclude that:

“The gender wage gap is real—and hurts women across the board. Too often it is assumed that this gap is not evidence of discrimination, but is instead a statistical artifact of failing to adjust for factors that could drive earnings differences between men and women. However, these factors—particularly occupational differences between women and men—are themselves affected by gender bias. Serious attempts to understand the gender wage gap should not include shifting the blame to women for not earning more. Rather, these attempts should examine where our economy provides unequal opportunities for women at every point of their education, training, and career choices.”

Read the whole study at EPI.org.