Voting behavior entails the manner in which individuals tend to choose leaders in the elections. It involves a political behavior exhibited by the electorate. The most interesting concern regarding election does not entail the person who wins the election but the reason why individuals decided to vote in a given manner or the consequences of results (Slomczynski & Shabad, 2012). These questions cannot be easily answered by examining the campaign occurrences as well incidents.
The unique elements and concepts of an election ought to be explored from a bigger perspective that includes the scrutiny of the electoral behavior. The two fundamental issues that characterize voting behavior entail identification of the sources of one`s voting behavior and the change of voting patterns over a period of time (Garzia, 2010). These can help one to establish the election outcome by comprehending how and why the public made choices regarding a given candidate and to determine the direction as well as future developments. The comprehension of the voters` behaviors can aid in explaining how and the reasons behind every decision by public decision-makers which is the central issue for the political experts and by the electorate.
The interpretation of the voting behavior has been advanced in political science as well as psychology (Garzia, 2010). The political psychology scholars have attempted to explore the manner in which the affective influence can aid voters in making more informed choices while voting which researchers indicating that affect can been used in comprehending how the body of voters makes informed political selections despite the low extent of political knowledge, attentiveness and sophistication. Slomczynski and Shabad (2012) indicate that voting is determined by several factors ranging from media, age, social class, issue voting, religion, geography, religion and background. These factors impact on the voting behavior in different ways. Furthermore, the fundamental public influences include the tolerance to diversity, emotions and political socialization (Gerber et al., 2013).
The impact of these factors on the behaviors of voters can be comprehended through models of the formation of beliefs, attitudes, the practices of processing information and knowledge structures. For instance, a study of various nations indicate that individuals are happier within individualistic cultures whereby they have the rights to vote (Schwarz, Schädel & Ladner, 2010). Moreover, social influence as well as the peer effects that are based on friends and friends also play a vital role in the voting behavior and elections (Gerber et al., 2013). The extent to which the voting decisions are impacted by the external and internal processes and influences can alter the quality of achieving democratic decisions.
According to the literature, there are not explicit categorization of the voting behavior types. Nonetheless, the study after the Cypriot referendum undertaken in 2004 determined four varying voting behaviors based on the election kinds (Rasmussen, 2008). The public utilizes varying decision criterion when called to exercise the right to vote in the legislative, referendum, presidential and local elections. For the national elections, it is believed that individuals voted based on their political dogmas (Richey, 2008). For the regional and local elections, there is a difference since individuals tend to elect the leaders who are likely to contribute to their region or locality. In contrast, the referendum follows a different logical because people are supposed against or for a given policy.
Garzia (2010) argues that the urban populace is likely to support socialist political parties while the rural population might favor conservative parties. Also, the voting behavior varies from one nation to another. For the United States for example, an examination of the voting behavior showed that the voters can be subdivided based on religion, region, ethnicity or background (Richey, 2008). On the other hand, the United Kingdom voters can be divided into social status and income (Schwarz, Schädel & Ladner, 2010).
The assessment of voting behavior can take up significant time by the political parties when they are attempting to gain support. In an attempt of predicting the voters` base as well as the social groups, the analysts focus on the groups they believe they have lost their support. This can lead to wastage of time in relation to the finances required and the time invested in targeting the potential voters.
According to Rasmussen (2008), the sources of voting behavior include several factors to make a person to choose a given party or candidate like after evaluating the candidate`s characteristics, the leader/party` orientation to public policy and the evaluation of the government`s performance. These evaluations and orientations are largely influenced by two attitudinal determinants entailing the general ideological dispositions and party identification. The ideology and party identification are long-term factors that affect the voting behavior fundamentally by impacting on the attitudes that are very immediate during the voting time (Slomczynski & Shabad, 2012; Schwarz, Schädel & Ladner, 2010).
Many scholars have attempted to explore the voting behavior with an intent of extensively understanding the various factors that determine the voting behavior (Dermody, Hanmer-Lloyd & Scullion, 2010). These studies have been narrow with many studies focusing on one factor. Furthermore, no studies have comprehensively compared the voting behavior of the USA and the United Kingdom. Thus, this study is informative for both the UK and the US for both learners and scholars as well as political scientists and politicians who intend to comprehend the voting behaviors of different citizens.
The main intent of this study is to comprehend who vote for whom and compare the voting behavior of United States and the United Kingdom. The objectives have been divided into:
- Explore the religious voting behavior in both UK and US
- Examine whether ethnicity and race impact on the voting behavior of voters in UK and US
- Evaluate the gender-based voting behavior in UK and US
The research on voting behavior started in 18th century though early works exist but do not meet scholarly values (Simon, 1985). At the onset of the late 19th century, the development of quantitative historiography began that extensively utilized map to represent census information as well as voting data by employing various colors and shades. The ordinary visual analysis and the subjective interpretation of such maps by the Turner School were replaced by more comprehensive statistical approaches including the correlation analysis motivated by Franklin Giddins at Columbia (Schudson, 2000). For instance, politics was demonstrated using the quantitative approaches. In the University of Chicago, an interdisciplinary collaboration in social science generated some of the remarkable work such as the Gosnell of 1930. The increased advent of modern survey methods in the 1930s as well as in the 1940s saw the aggregate method going quite for some time (Simon, 1985).
As elections increasingly became the vehicle through which the citizens elected their leaders, the pundits, scholars and pundits started to speculate concerning the factors the influence the voters` behaviors (Schudson, 2000). Leaving aside the early works such as Siegfried of 1913 of evaluating the voting behavior in France, the influencers of the voters` choice became a subject of academic review in the mid- twentieth century. The analysis depended on data from surveys and build several models regarding voters` choice (Greenwald et al., 2009). The interest in the political and voting behaviors as well as the concern on mass communication, public attitude and the marketing strategies towards the Second World War motivated the quick creation of modern survey between mid-1930s and 1940s as well as the development of the survey research centers in commercial and academic industries. The centers included the Survey Research Center within the Michigan University and the National Opinion Research Center at the Chicago University (Books & Prysby, 1991).
The modern voting researches are based on the survey approach and usually utilize small but randomly obtained samples of approximately 1,000 eligible voters. The information is gathered through standardized questionnaires that are undertaken through trained interviewers over the telephone or via one-to-one communication (Schudson, 2000). The advance in the contemporary communication technology like the use of Internet have changed the face of scholarly survey researches.
By using data obtained from a seven-wave regional panel survey, Lazarsfeld Paul and others showed that the public`s choice was predetermined several months prior to the 1940 general election in the United States. This study employed an ingenious evaluation to the electoral decision-making. It was discovered that only a small number of people changed their parties during the process of campaigning and hence concluded that the campaign fundamentally served to reinforce the existing political inclinations. Furthermore, these political inclinations were largely influenced by the socio-demographic attributed including the place of residence, religion and denomination and the Social Economic Status (Armitage & Conner, 2001).
The deduction from this study include “A man thinks politically the same way he thinks socially.” Therefore, political affiliation was largely seen to be related to social-determinism (Greenwald et al., 2009). Moreover, the study concluded that public policy issues do not play a major role in vote`s behavior. The Zazarsfeld et al. (1940) findings regarding the US elections has some similarly to the European based voting behavior. Based on the continent`s history, the voting behavior is to a big extent influenced by the social characteristics that seem so obvious. Hence, it is not a surprise that the evolution of the Western European party system Rokkan and Lipset that set forward the social cleavages concepts (Lipset & Rokkan, 1967). While this concept was not developed to explain the voting behavior, it creates the notion of social groupings which is evident in voting process for specific parties like the Catholics for the Christian-Democratic and Social parties. Therefore, it is closely associated to the engendered studies that address the responsibility of the social attributes in shaping the voters` choices (Armitage & Conner, 2001). Based on the stability of the social features, this study propose that the voting behavior is stable over a period of time. Additionally, while the coalitions between the political parties and social groups are interest-based, the model indicates that the voters do not react strongly to the policy issues of the daily life nor consider performance when voting (Books & Prysby, 1991).
In a landmark study known as The American Voter by Angus Campbell, Donald Stokes, Miller Warren and Converse Philip that was based on the modern social psychology to evaluate the voter`s choice, the model employed political perceptions and the evaluation that are impacted by prior experiences (Marks & Miller, 1987). The fully comprehension of the evolution of an individual`s voting behavior needs an analysis of the host of past events that are present on the funnel causality. Nonetheless, it suffices to explore the political attitude at the voting period to understand the voter`s choice. Campbell et al. (1960) indicated that there are three proximate motivational factors that are very important including the issue orientation, party identification and the candidate`s orientation. Party identification entails the longstanding psychological attachment to a given political party that acts as the perceptual filter and hence the resistant to change but not totally undisputable.
While party identification resulted in stability to an attitude and voting behavior, the candidate orientations as well as issue orientation explains the party change (Books & Prysby, 1991). Unlike the more sociological accounts, the model is more appropriate in explaining the stable as well as the changing voting behavior. In exploration of the 1953 and the 1956 US presidential elections, the Michigan University Scholars revealed that party identification was of pre-eminent significance. The attitude towards political issues on the other hand appeared to play minimal role. Thus, voters were not fundamentally concerned about the public policy while casting their votes.
To effectively understand the significance of issue orientations, new concepts were developed by scholars. For instance, Stokes (1963) differentiated between valence and position issues whereby in valence issues the parties compete for the voters` support by showing their ability of accomplishing an objective whose appeal is uncontroversial among the voters and the parties such as prosperity and peace. Regarding position issue, the parties vary about the policies to pursue so the electorate can select according to the parties` position to fit their desires. For instance, issues of if the party will close nuclear plants or legalize abortion.
Based on the Downs` (1975) ideology of spatial party competition, the electorate was initially assumed to elect the parties that provide present ideal policies that are close to the voters` position on issues. Nonetheless, it was rejected that this proximity calculus is too multifaceted in describing the electorate`s decision-making process. Rabinowitz and MacDonald (1989) claimed that the electorates use a directional calculus (that is, they elect a party that take their preferred position). Another vital distinction involves the temporal aspect of issue voting. The retrospective orientations define the assessment of the past achievements while the prospective orientations describe the future expectations. According to Bender and Lott (1996), irrespective of utilizing the directional or proximity viewpoint, the position issues usually have a minimal effect as compared to the valence issues. Furthermore, the retrospective analysis seems to be more influential as compared to the prospective one. When put together, the electorate seem to hold representatives accountable through punishing or rewarding them for their performances in the past rather than offering them mandates for the future policies.
The Michigan model of vote behavior has served as a role model for voter researching within the US and other politics (Gerber & Rogers, 2009). The scholars who applied this model also put its doctrines to test. The evolving discussion largely concentrated on the idea of party identification (Marks & Miller, 1987). Researchers indicated that measures of the party identification do not show theoretical properties of desire such as over-time stability in several political entities other than the U.S. with time, the revisionist researchers rejected that U.S`s partisanship which was deemed to be more responsive to political experiences. This caused Fiorina (1981) to think of the partisanship as a running tally than a stable attachment that shapes the political perception as suggested by the traditionalists. Accordingly, the controversy has not ended but it is being passed under sophisticated approaches. The researchers maintain that the evidence that is leveled against the traditional model was caused by the methodological analysis errors that employed ill-suited indicators as well as insufficient statistical techniques (Gerber & Rogers, 2009).
The revisionist researchers on the other hand indicate that even a sound methodological analysis exhibit more over-time difference as well as responsiveness to the short-term factors such as leader performance as compared to original conception which was more compatible. Therefore, instead of subscribing to the prevalent function of the party attachment, they propose a model of valence politics. This concept proposes a larger function for policy responsiveness in the voting behavior.
Generally, the idea of explaining the voters` choice based on political attitude is not contested. The research controversy concentrate on the nature of attitudes that impact on the voter choices (Gerber & Rogers, 2009). This deliberation is closely linked to the function of public policy attitudes in the voting behavior and hence to the issue of if the elections are instruments that the electorate employ in holding the politicians accountable regarding their policies.
Psephology (the study of the voting behavior) has a long and remarkable account. The scholars and sociologists from various disciplines including psychology, geography, political science as well as history have explored voting behavior coupled with elections (Beck & Ajzen, 1991; Budge, Crewe & Farlie, 2010; Norris, 2004). Nonetheless, in the modern sociology, these topics are widely neglected. The study of voting behavior in regard to sociology is about the way in which people obtain, choose and process knowledge concerning political arena, the relevance of personal attributed of political sphere, the different forces that shape election and voting, and the approaches used in deciding to take part or refrain from a particular political actions (Green & Hobolt, 2008; Mair, 2007).
Elections offer convenient focus that includes the elusive and latent processing of the political data that manifest the behavioral about voting and abstaining as well as supporting one candidate instead of another candidate. On the other hand, election prediction is not a fundamental objective of sociological studies of the voting behavior even if the parties, the general public and politicians would like to obtain such information (Green & Hobolt, 2008). Much of the applied studies have served these interest in the present or the past. Also, the discipline of voting behavior applied and pure studies coexist peacefully (Norris, 2004).
The studies in the same arena aim to offer explanations regarding the voting behavior that can be exploited among the mainstream public over a given period of time (Budge, Crewe & Farlie, 2010). Scholars and psychologists have attempted to explain the voting behavior by developing theoretical models (Enelow & Hinich, 1984). Different researchers favor varying models but these theories share some components but emphasis different concepts. Grol and Grimshaw (2003) indicated that the easiest method to use in explaining voting behavior include the short and long-term factors whereby the long-term can include social background factors of a person and the short-term factors can entail issues like the party to which the leader prefers in a given time (Enelow & Hinich, 1984). Many political scholars take the analysis of the voting behavior further to uncover more concepts. The voting models try to make to describe the human behavior.
Some scholars in the same field indicate that they have developed frameworks that explain the various voting habits of different countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom (Feddersen & Sandroni, 2006). Perhaps the biggest concern regarding psephology models involve the broad generalization or stereotyping of the voting trends and habits that subsequently become the part on the universal culture (Gopi & Ramayah, 2007). However, learners and researcher in the field of citizenship and voting should be aware that the models generated as well as knowledge regarding the voting behavior should be seen as temporary but not permanent. Geys (2006) notes that since nobody is aware of the outcome of the next election, there is a big possibility that the frameworks of voting behavior as well as early deductions concerning voting are likely to be irrelevant after the declaration of the election results.
The Michigan model entails a theory of the voter choice which is fundamentally based on party identification as well as sociological factors (Bartels, 2010). This theory was initially proposed in the 1950s by political scientists in the University of Michigan with an intent of explaining the voters` behavior regarding their psychological attachment to a given political party that was developed over a long period of time (Hatemi et al., 2007). The model indicates the party attachment is usually stabled and is formulated by the outside social influences that include the family members, the parents as well as other individuals in a person`s sociological continuum (Gunther, Puhle & Montero, 2007). Nonetheless, in the recent past, this theory has been challenged by valence as well as the spatial models leading to the advocates of the model to reconsider the long-term consequences of party attachment. The opponents of Michigan model indicate that it exaggerates the expectations that party identification will be cemented by situations (Gunther, Puhle & Montero, 2007). However, party identification can be changed due the party`s performance or other situations. This model has been popular within the American voting system (Bartels, 2010).
The social structure model advance gender and ethnicity in grouping the voters` behavior. Political analysts once spoke about gender gap in the voting process (Triandis, 1989). For instance, the female population is likely to vote for the conservative perhaps because of the traditional women role in the society.
Himmelweit and colleagues (1985) moved away from describing the vote behavior based on the social class models to another model known as consumer model. This model compares the shoppers within a supermarket and the electorates in a political supermarket. The process of selecting goods by the shoppers can be determined by several consideration including brand name, loyalty, price, packaging or the past experience and the totally unpredictable impulse buying that most consumers regret (Shaw, Newholm & Dickinson, 2006). When similar considerations are made on voting during the elections, the same can be true since the voters attempt to obtain information about the issues surrounding the voting process including the political parties and the policies that determine the party or candidate they will vote for. Lewis‐Beck, Michael and Stegmaier (2007) indicate that some voters are likely to cast their votes based on their previous experience concerning the party while some just vote because they like the leader of a given party. Some people will never change decisions regarding the party they support while others are likely to shut their eyes and take pot luck (Shaw, Newholm & Dickinson, 2006).
The primary model indicates that factors like age, social class, ethnicity and gender can influence the electoral outcomes (Forgas, 2011). Analysis of the voting behavior based on the primary model can make one to believe that stability is a key feature for the voting behavior since such social factors usually change very slowly (Panagopoulos, 2011). The individuals who support primary model can indicate that while short-term factors are essential, they do not impact the underlying social forces from shaping the individual political outlook.
On the other hand, the recency model is based on the belief that voting patterns are very volatile and the developments like the partisan dealignments as well as embourgeoisement have minimized the people`s loyalty to a given political party (Pineño & Miller, 2005). Thus, the recency model indicates that the short-term factors (leaders, issues, events or competence) are very vital. They advocates of recency theory argue that the fact that the similar number of voters usually vote for the similar parties does not always mean that the same voters vote for the same party (Pineño & Miller, 2005). To a certain level, there is a chum and most voters do not make their minds until the last minute. For instance, in 1997, 8.5 million changed their minds few weeks (three weeks) before the election but the overall extent of support remained the same (Panagopoulos, 2011).
Religion is seen to be a key determinant of the voting behavior especially in the United States that has various denominations as well as religion that supporting varying parties. Also in the United Kingdom that are several religions and denomination but they do not play a significant role like in the US (Brooks, Nieuwbeerta & Manza, 2006). The religious communities of the US are very vital regarding the faith-based politics. While in the past religion was linked directly to race as well as ethnicity but seems religion is separately linked to voting behavior. Nonetheless, it is important to consider the ethno-religious groups and their voting behavior. The ethno-religious groups usually play a vital role in the US politics since the beginning of the republic such as the Irish, German Jews, Scottish Presbyterians and the Catholics (Liddle & Mujani, 2007; Wald & Calhoun-Brown, 2014). While the impact of religiosity is strongest among the white Christian groups, it is evident in all religions when it comes to voting behavior in the United States. Furthermore, there is a big difference between the regular attenders of church against the non-attenders (McDermott, 2009). For instance the figure underneath presents 2008 faith-based Republican against Democratic voting based on regular attending and non-frequent attendance of services.
Source: (McDermott, 2009)
The chart above shows that the topmost part is highly Democratic with the lowest side being highly Republican. It is evident that a quick glance on the faith-based voting shows a highly polarized US. Based on the chart above, the topmost present the strong Democratic religions who nearly voted for Obama at 100% (Flanigan et al., 2014). The next chart provides the voting behavior of the US for 2004 that can be compared with the 2008.
Source: (McDermott, 2009)
Toward the lower end of the chart, there is Jews, Hispanic and other minority like the Catholics. There is also a composite category comprising of the non-Christian faith (others) including the Muslim, Buddhists, Hindus and non-Christian (Olson & Green, 2006). In 2004, after the non-Christian (other), there was group that mostly voted for the Democrats including the secular group that has not religious affiliation and according to studies, this group does not have any religious behavior or belief (Flanigan et al., 2014). A little down presents the unaffiliated believers who include individuals without any religious affiliation but demonstrate some religious behaviours and beliefs. This group was strongly a Democratic group. According to Driskell, Embry and Lyon (2008), the biggest change in Democratic votes originate from the religious minorities that include the minority Catholics, Hispanic protestants, Protestants and Hispanic Protestants.
In the United States, the Catholics have previously voted for the Democrats since many immigrant come from the Ireland and Italy who have been courted in the past by the Democrats (Driskell, Embry & Lyon, 2008). Nonetheless, some Catholics will cast votes for the Republicans due to issues like abortion and contraceptives. The catholic group is not associated to one political party (Liddle & Mujani, 2007). The responsibility of a priest in the United States does not include swaying the people to vote in a particular manner. In the recent past, the catholic church has not voted as one bloc even is a president is linked to women`s right, contraceptive or abortion which are condemned by the Catholics, not all catholic are likely to rebel or voted against such candidates or parties (Campbell & Monson, 2008). There was a belief that due to the social conservatism of Ronald Reagan, the Republic party was likely to appeal to the conservative Catholics. Nonetheless, this was not the case since the group was divided between the Republican and Democrat. Therefore, the manner in which the Catholic Church vote in the USA is not impacted by the views and ideologies their want to put across. For instance, in 1992 elections, about 44 percent of Catholics voted for Clinton, 20 percent for Perot and 35 percent for Bush. During the 1996 elections, 53 percent voted for Clinton, 9 percent for Perot and 37 percent for Dole (Liddle & Mujani, 2007). For the 2000 elections, there was almost an even split of votes among the Catholics with Gore gaining 49 percent and Bush 47 percent. Since the Catholics do not have a clear loyalty to a given party, it is important for the political parties to carefully analyze them to understand how they are likely to vote. In 2012, over 50 percent of the United States Catholics supported Obama while the other half supported the Republican Party.
Regarding the Jewish, they have traditionally been the heartland of Democrat with about 69 percent of the Jews voting for Obama in the 2012 elections while in 2000, about 79 percent voted for Gore (Wald & Calhoun-Brown, 2014). Campbell and Monson (2008) argue that this is attributed to the fact that the Jewish population in the US perceive themselves as a minority group hence believe that the Democrats can protect and advance their interest effectively. The protestant vote is on the other hand a stronghold for the Republicans with approximately 80 percent voting for the Republican candidates in 2012 and 2004 (Wald & Calhoun-Brown, 2014). The foundation for the protestant supporting the Republican Party lies on the social conservatism of the Republican that attracts the people with strong religious beliefs especially concerning capital punishment, abortions, gay marriage and others (Campbell & Monson, 2008).
While the religious voting in the United States seems well-researched as well as well-recognized, the religious voting behavior is less researched. This study draws from the extensive data regarding the UK election survey. The United Kingdom never created a tradition of Christian Democracy or a chief Christian party since by the time democracy and voting was being established, three major denominations existed including the Anglican Tory, the Nonconformist Liberal and the Catholic Labour (McTague & Layman, 2009). The self-identifying Anglicans has been indicate to mostly vote for the Conservative as compared to the Labour party with exceptions of 1997 and 1966. In the year 2010, Anglicans were more likely to vote for the Conservative than the Catholics (Wald, 2014). Still on the Anglicans, the nation patterns of Britain indicate that there is a higher support for the Conservative party among the female population than for men (Caplan, 2011). This gap is also apparent for the Catholics which is slightly bigger with 33.3 percent of the females voting for Tory than 24.5 percent men. The Catholics on the other hand usually vote for the Labour by large from 1959 with the exceptions of 1979 and have shown for the last six decades lower support for the third party as compared to other Christian denominations (Lewis‐Beck et al., 2008; De La & Rodden, 2008). The Nonconformists have demonstrated a greater tendency voting fluidity as compared to either the Catholics or the Anglicans with a slight association with the third party (Graham, Haidt & Nosek, 2009).
The voting trends are also discernible among the non-religious groups and non-Christians (De La & Rodden, 2008). However, the analysis of the non-Christian groups should be carried out with caution since there are low samples. Regarding the Muslims, in 2010 they supported mostly the Labour party while the Jewish favoured the Conservatives. For the Hindu, they have mostly favoured the Labour party but they in the past their voting patterns seemed balanced. The Sikh vote can be said to been evenly split between two parties including Conservative and Labour while the Buddhist votes are excessively for the Liberal Democrats (McTague & Layman, 2009). The votes for groups that do not identify with any religious entity have changed over elections but their attachments to the Conservatives have been lower but for the third party, it has been higher according to the recent statistics.
The religious voting behavior of the UK can be assessed based on attendance and attachment. The regularity of attendance make a variation for the Anglicans (Graham, Haidt & Nosek, 2009; Lewis‐Beck et al., 2008). The individuals attending Anglican services more frequently have historically been seen to vote for the Conservatives as compared to those who attend mass rarely. Therefore, practicing Anglicanism is perceived to be more Tory as compared to the nominal Anglicanism. Among the Catholics, there is no difference regarding irregular or regular attenders since both vote equally for the Labour Party (Wald, 2014; Chhibber & Kollman, 2009). Anglicans generally show greater support for the Conservative Party as compared to other denominations and groups. Also, the Catholics demonstrate most support for the Labour Party as other non-Christian religious which shows their historical tradition of voting for the Labour Party (Caplan, 2011). While the Liberal Democrats have minimal backing up from across the board, some Christian groups indicate that they would vote for them during a hypothetical elections. The support for Liberal Democrats is greater among the individuals who belong to other religions or the people who do not reveal their religion and the non-religious groups (Caplan, 2011).
It is important to comprehend the facts that drive the electoral allegiance in the United Kingdom. Concerning the political issues, in the year 2010, all groups regardless of their religiosity put the economy as the most important issue, then immigration, followed by the outcome of the election and finally the budget deficit issues (Brown, 2014). There was some variation over the fifth most vital issue based on social status, employment status and consumer debt. What is largely seen as the issues affecting the American voters (family, abortion and sexuality) are rarely mentioned in the United Kingdom voting behavior. Not surprisingly, the voters` assessments concerning the party that was best able to deal with the issues affecting them followed the past attachment lines of party support (Norton, 2015). Therefore, the Anglicans would like a Conservative party to be in power since they believe it is best able to handle their issues while the Catholics want the Labour Party.
The religious groups and their voting behavior can be place in different value-based spectra including libertarians-authoritarian, left-right and the welfarist-individualist. Within the left-right scale, there include the affiliation groups of individuals that belong to other religion group with majority being Muslim and are usually on the left concerning the left-right axis (Brown, 2014). The Catholic are also consistently left while the Anglicans are on the right of the left-right axis. People who do not have a religion tend marginally to be on the left in the left-right axis. However, this opinions are likely to change if individuals are questioned on the policy-specific issues regarding spending and taxation. The Catholics are slightly more pro-tax as well as spend than other groups. Chhibber and Kollman (2009) asserted that the within the left-right scale, religious attendance can be the best indicated. The individuals who do not attend religious services are commonly on the left in relation to the political spectrum especially concerning issues of wealth and poverty than other individuals.
Source: (Brown, 2014)
Based on the libertarian-authoritarian scale, the population of the United Kingdom is commonly more libertarian but is becoming more authoritarian in the last decade. The Anglicans tend to be the most authoritarian which has been happening in the last ten years (Norton, 2015). For the no religion group, they are increasingly libertarian even if it is changing toward authoritarianism than before for the last ten years. The other groups especially the other religion tend to fluctuate between the two poles (Norris & Inglehart, 2011). Based on attendance to service, the groups that never attend have been more libertarian in the last ten years.
Source: (Brown, 2014)
Concerning welfarist-individualist scale, most religious affiliation tend to be towards the individualism side. This trend has been realistically consistent over the last ten years even if it is slowing down in the last few years (Norris & Inglehart, 2011). The variation of opinion between the religious entities are almost smaller as compared to the general shift in the public opinion. Nonetheless, the religious opinions shape individual`s opinions. The Anglican are mostly anti-welfarist as compared to the Roman Catholics and other groups that are welfarist (Norton, 2015).
Source: (Brown, 2014)
Source: (Brown, 2014)
Religion is seen to be a key determinant of the voting behavior especially in the United States that has various denominations as well as religion that supporting varying parties. Also in the United Kingdom that are several religions and denomination but they do not play a significant role like in the US. In the United States, the Catholics have previously voted for the Democrats since many immigrant come from the Ireland and Italy who have been courted in the past by the Democrats. Nonetheless, some Catholics will cast votes for the Republicans due to issues like abortion and contraceptives. The catholic group is not associated to one political party. Regarding the Jewish, they have traditionally been the heartland of Democrats. The protestant vote is on the other hand a stronghold for the Republicans. The foundation for the protestant supporting the Republican Party lies on the social conservatism of the Republican that attracts the people with strong religious beliefs especially concerning capital punishment, abortions, gay marriage and others.
Based on the reviewed studies, the Catholics are likely to vote for the Labour party while on the other hand the Church of England backs the Conservatives. The Think tank Theos undertook an in-depth analysis on the correlation between politics and religion in the United Kingdom. Accordingly, the Catholics are largely considered as the left-wing of the Christian groups as well as more pro-welfare as compared to the Anglicans who are considered to be more authoritarian concerning their political values. On the other hand, the non-religious individuals are consistently libertarian hence take a strong line against the censorship and are increasingly skeptical regarding the management and fair distribution of resources. Nonetheless, while there is a clear alignments of the religious groups and voting behavior, there is no block votes in the United Kingdom.
The rise of the polarized politics in the U.S can be attributed to the changes taking in the United States` culture and society over many years. Such changes include the dramatic increase in ethnic and racial diversity (Lindberg & Morrison, 2008). Due to the large-scale immigration of people from Asia and Latin America as well as the high fertility rate of the nonwhites, the ethnic and racial makeup of the American population has gone through an intense transformation since the 1960s (Lien, 2010). The nonwhites consist of one of the rapidly growing share of the entire American population. The demographic shift has led to different impacts on the two major parties (Republican and Democrats).
Source: (Lien, 2010)
Based on the figure above, the effect of ethnic and racial diversity of the US voters as well as the composition of Republic and Democratic electoral coalitions is easily noticeable. The nonwhite voters have quintupled since the 1950s and have doubled from 1990s thus widening the racial divide between the Republicans and Democrats coalitions (Lindberg & Morrison, 2008). Before the years 1965, the voting Right Acts led to empowerment of the African-American voters within the southern states and both parties` voters were mostly white. In the modern time, the Republican electoral is largely white (Lien, 2010). In 2012, the nonwhites votes made up just 10% of the votes received by Romney. On the other hand, the nonwhites voters are indicated by be increasing steadily since the 1965 and this trend has accelerated in the recent past (Huber, 2012). The political importance of racial diversity can be seen in the progress in racial relations in the past three decades. However, the US society remains much divided based on the racial lines with unequal society as well as segregation. For instance, the Latinos and African-Americans still experience increasingly worse health outcomes, higher unemployment, poorer educational systems, inferior housing, poorer job opportunities and lower incomes as compared to the white Americans (Huber, 2012; Keyssar, 2009). Furthermore, the minority are likely to experience prejudice and hostility while interacting with the private and public bureaucracies. Such differences in opportunities and experiences in life are demonstrated in the sharp variation on views regarding spending, taxation and the role of government and the party identification as well as voting behavior (Bird et al., 2010).
The increasing dependence of the Democratic candidates as well as the office-holders on the nonwhites’ electorate and also among the Republic strategy of attracting to the white voters that are unhappy with the Democrats` economic and racial liberalism has led to the regional and ideological realignment among the white voters (Keyssar, 2009). The conservative white within the south and in other regions have moved into the Republican camp. In contrast, the white moderate-to-liberal whites within the Pacific states, Northeast and Midwest are moving into the Democratic camp (Huber, 2012).
The African Americans have commonly associated themselves to the Democrat Party. The support for African American populace have never gone below 83 percent (rAndon HersHey & Beck, 2015). For instance, in 2012, 93 percent of African American supported the re-election of Obama. In 1988, 86 percent of this group is indicated to have voted for Dukakis while in 1996, 84 percent voted for Clinton.
As such, their support is based on the probability that most African-Americans can be poorer within the American society therefore they attempt to support the Democrat Party since they believe it advances their interests (Huber, 2012). In the past, the African Americans supported the Civil Rights and New Deal that have largely backed up the Democrats. In 1960s, the government of Lyndon Johnson advanced for the civil rights but the Republicans have never been associated with Civil rights even if Eisenhower as a Republican set the ball rolling in 1957 when he put in place a Civil Right Act (Bird et al., 2010). This era began with F D Roosevelt who was believed to assist those individuals who could not help themselves during the New Deal. For Lyndon Johnson, he supported three civil rights act in the congress (Chhibber & Kollman, 2009). While the number of the African Americans that vote is minimal as than the white populace, a significant number live in areas that are considered the targets for the Democrat and Republican parties including the New York, Florida and California. Recent data demonstrate that African Americans will vote for the Democrats irrespective of their education or success (Chhibber & Kollman, 2009). Furthermore, the Democrats have many role models within the African Americans Party. Additionally, the Republican stand of being against affirmative action is broadly believed by the racist among the African-Americans. Notwithstanding this level of support, the turnout of the African Americans is usually very low fundamentally because of the parties overlooking them in the voting cycles (Bird et al., 2010).
Based on the above assertions, the whites in the southern states are more likely to vote for the Republicans since it does not advocate the civil right movement. Ronald Reagan who was believed to be God-fearing as well as anti-communist (would get the US back to her feet) and had strong leadership (Chhibber & Kollman, 2009). He did not should preference for communism and liberalism and his view that people should stand up for themselves and stop sponge off of the state was largely in line with the southern voters. Even if the African Americans had the right of voting after the 15th Amendment very few voted in the southern states since it was concerned dangerous to vote in the 1950s (Portes, Escobar & Arana, 2008). Hence, their political clout was zero and their support for the Democrats might have existed but they would not vote and their votes would not be counted.
Regarding the Hispanics, they are becoming very influential concerning elections in the United States especially now that they have very large families. This group is hard to predict regarding the power they support and their allegiance (Bird et al., 2010). They have previously supported the democrats but in the recent times, the Republican Party seems to be attracting them. Their support level is very divided among parties whereby about 44 percent supported Bush in 2004 while 71 percent supported Obama`s re-election in 2012 (rAndon HersHey & Beck, 2015). In Florida, the Hispanics have experienced some prosperity. Kennedy orders carried the failed fiasco of the Bay of Pigs in the 1961. This disaster is considered by the Republican Party in negating the support of Hispanic for the Democrat since they never trusted their intention towards Cuba as well as Castro (Portes, Escobar & Arana, 2008). Similar with the African Americans, the Hispanics are likely to be poorer in the American Society hence are likely to support the Democrat since it advances their interests. Nonetheless, the Hispanic ethnicity is seen to be a new source of votes that are significant. Some states have a total population of 25 percent who are Hispanic and are mostly young (Leighley & Nagler, 2013). The Hispanic vote is usually divided due to their origins (Hispanic ancestors) and religion. The Hispanics originating from Cuba mostly support the Republicans due to the anti-Castro policies as well as anti-communism. In contrast, the Hispanics from Puerto Rico and Mexico are likely to back the Democrats based on the stance of immigration (Keyssar, 2009).
In the United Kingdom, Ethnicity impacts on the voting behavior of individuals. For instance, the Labour Party usually tend to benefit more from minority ethnic groups since their ideologies are closely associated with the support for immigration as equality legislations. In the United Kingdom election, the greatest uncertainty of the result can be attributed to the varying voting behavior of different groups in the UK (Heath et al., 2011). For many decades, the Minority and Black ethnic groups voting patterns have not been a priority for the political parties. Nonetheless, there is a clear historical trend showing the correlation between ethnicity, race and politics. Notably the electoral weaknesses among the far right as well as the dominance of the Labour Party amongst the Black Minority Ethnics (BME) voters continues to be an important determinant of the outcomes of the elections (Sanders et al., 2014).
In the recent past, the changing demographics of the UK`s Black and Minority Ethnic populace has considerably shifted the significance in the electoral process of all the parties in the United Kingdom. In particular, the extent of growth among the ethnic minority populace has been considerable from about five percent in 1991 to 13 percent in 2011 (3 million to 8 million people) which is equivalent to the combined populace of Wales and Scotland. However, this population is not evenly distributed through the UK hence cannot equally impact on the parliamentary constituencies across the United Kingdom (Layton-Henry & Rich, 2016). In the year 1991, there were only seven constituencies that had more than 40 percent of BME. In contrast, according to the 2011 census, there were 49 seats (Clayton, 2014). During the election of 1992, the Conservatives could just lose seven seats by failing to win over the BME voters. However, in 2010 and beyond, the Conservatives can lose at least 50 seats (Heath et al., 2011). For instance, in London, the Conservatives won the majority of seats until the year 1992 but since then, the number of seats won are decreasing. The increasingly dispersal of the Black Minority Ethnic populace can be matched with the influence they have on the electoral process (Bird et al., 2010). While the demographic shift in the United Kingdom has been taking place for some decades now, the political parties have taken time to catch up with this shift.
While it is well known that the ethnic minorities in UK tend to support the Labour Party, they are not a monolithic bloc of vote for the Labour Party that can automatically vote for the same party each election year (Fieldhouse & Cutts, 2008). Significant difference exist among the ethnic minorities with the Black Caribbean as well as Black African ethnicities demonstrating the highest support for the Labour Party. The votes originating from Pakistan and Bangladesh are indicated to be less inclined to vote for the Labour Party. For instance, in 2010 elections about a quarter of the voters with Pakistan origin voted for Liberial Democrats (Denver, Carman & Johns, 2012). This almost certainly reflected on the Muslims` unease concerning the Labour Party`s support for military inventions in Afghanistan as well as Iraq. The United Kingdom`s largest ethnic minority who include the Indians especially those from the East Africa are most likely to vote for the Conservatives (Sanders et al., 2014). However, even the voters from Indian origin gave just a quarter support to the Conservatives in 2010 as compared to the 61 percent who voted for the Labour Party (Heath et al., 2011).
The support for the Labour Party similar to the working class of 1950s does not seem to be rooted on a preference for particular labour policies or Conservative policies. It seems like the support is based on general and more accurate perception that in the past the Labour party was perceived to be the party that can protect the minorities` interests while the Conservative party is seen like a party that is not likely or interested in assisting the minorities (Wald, 2014). These assertions regarding the Labour Party are based on the historical records whereby the legislation passed by parliament to ensure the protection of minorities against racial discrimination as well as promote their opportunities in the UK were passed while the Labour governments were in power. For instance, the 1955, 1976, and 1968 Race Relations Acts as well as the 2000 Amendments, 2010 Equality Act and the 2006 Racial and Religious hatred Act which were enacted under the leadership of Labour Party (Wald, 2014; Denver, Carman & Johns, 2012; Fieldhouse & Cutts, 2008). Nonetheless, the support accorded by the minority to the Labour cannot always be granted (Bird et al., 2010). This was demonstrated by Respect Party in 2005 whereby George Galloway expelled from the Labour for opposition towards the Iraq war won the Bow and Bethnal Green constituency. He further overturned the Labour majority in the 2012 by-election in Bradford West. In general, there is a tension between the minorities` support for the Labour Party and their policy preferences on particular issues like the war in Iraq and unemployment. This tension offers the possibility of a realignment concerning the voting behaviors and patterns (Clayton, 2014).
The big question remain, is ethnicity a determinant in the voting behavior? Many concerns have arisen in the UK for instance the recession and the need to control inflation as well as reduce unemployment that are shared across the entire United Kingdom Society. According to the political scientists, the issues that have broad consensus on the voters and policy objective are known as valence issues. While the White British`s social classes match the political party choice, it is not the same to the minority groups. The Muslims in the United Kingdom do not want a political party that imposes sanctions or advocates for war in Iraq or any Islamic countries. While there is no clear ideas regarding the issues the minority groups want, Denver, Carman and Johns (2012) note that the things that greatly concern the ethnic minorities include issues considered to be of greatest importance to the general population within equivalent socio-economic positions. It seems that race-specific concerns do not dominate the priorities of nonwhites and different groups are not always united on such issues. However, other researchers have noted that the minorities and majority groups have significant difference concerning what issues they consider to be very important (Layton-Henry & Rich, 2016). Some of the biggest difference issues include unemployment to which the BME attach a lot of importance. The minorities attach little importance to the financial crisis, the state of United Kingdom economy and immigration. The table underneath demonstrates the important issues based on different ethnicities (white British and the minority groups).
Source: (Fisher et al., 2015)
The voting behavior in the UK is also determined by immigration, civil liberties, tax and spending. Regarding taxation and spending, every ethnic minority group does not support higher government spending as compared to the white British. Therefore, they appear to be less left-wing as compared to the majority population. This contrast with the greater support of the Labour party as well as emphasizes on unemployment. Regarding the protection of the rights of people who are accused, the minorities generally support the rights of individuals who are accused while the white British majority indicate that it is important to reduce crime. There is a major difference concerning immigration whereby the Black Africans especially those who do not originate from commonwealth nations disagree about immediate deportation with the proposition that asylum seekers ought to be sent back to their countries (Fisher et al., 2015). The South Asian minority are also less supportive of the immigrant as compared to the white-British. The Muslim groups including people who have origins from Somali, Pakistani and Bangladeshi less supportive to war in Afghanistan and Iraq that the White-British.
The table underneath examines how civil liberties, war, immigration, spending and tax cut affect voting behavior.
Source: (Fisher et al., 2015)
The dramatic increase and shift of ethnic and racial diversity in the United Kingdom and the US is changing the voting patterns in both nations. The UK and the US have minority groups that vote for parties that advocate for their well-being. In the USA, due to the large-scale immigration of people from Asia and Latin America as well as the high fertility rate of the nonwhites, the ethnic and racial makeup of the American population has gone through an intense transformation since the 1960s. Nonetheless, the US society remains much divided based on the racial lines with unequal society as well as segregation. For instance, the Latinos and African-Americans still experience increasingly worse health outcomes, higher unemployment, poorer educational systems, inferior housing, poorer job opportunities and lower incomes as compared to the white Americans. Furthermore, the minority are likely to experience prejudice and hostility while interacting with the private and public bureaucracies. Such differences in opportunities and experiences in life are demonstrated in the sharp variation on views regarding spending, taxation and the role of government and the party identification as well as voting behavior. Because the challenges faced by different ethnicities are different, the US voting behavior is based on ethnicity whereby groups support a party that they believe will deliver on specific issues affecting them. This is also the case in the United Kingdom, the Black and Minority Ethnic usually vote for the Labour party due to the conditions they face and what the Labour party has historically done such as Civil right and equality legislation passed to ensure equal opportunities and anti-discrimination. Similarly, the African Americans and other minorities have commonly associated themselves to the Democrat Party.
While it is well known that the ethnic minorities in UK tend to support the Labour Party, they are not a monolithic bloc of vote for the Labour Party that can automatically vote for the same party each election year. Significant difference exist among the ethnic minorities with the Black Caribbean as well as Black African ethnicities demonstrating the highest support for the Labour Party. The votes originating from Pakistan and Bangladesh are indicated to be less inclined to vote for the Labour Party. The United Kingdom`s largest ethnic minority who include the Indians especially those from the East Africa are most likely to vote for the Conservatives. Therefore, the voting behavior and ethnicity are largely correlated in the US and the UK with groups supporting parties they believed can move their agendas forwards.
When the right to vote for women came into existence in 1920 after the 19th constitution Amendment, there was speculation that a distinct women`s vote was likely to emerge (Morales & Giugni, 2016). Some male politicians and many feminists indicated that the newly enfranchised women would support candidates who support a variety of maternalist social policies like hours of work and protective wages, housing policies and an expansive health as well as other social provisions for the indigent families and women (Morales & Giugni, 2016). However, this failed to come to life. In the recent time, gender cleavage has developed in the United States electoral process. Therefore, when voting in many congressional and presidential election the women seem to support Democratic candidates unlike the men. The gender gap has been frequently larger than the margin of winning for the Democratic candidate in the congressional elections and also in the 1996 and the 1992 presidential elections (Bagues & Esteve-Volart, 2010). The appeals created to attract the female voters have increased with politicians aiming to minimizing gender gap or maximize it for the Republic and Democratic respectively.
Other gender-based voting behaviours observed include the partisan identification, the assessment of political office holder, turnout rates, rate of office holding and policy attitude. Regarding the voter turnout, it has been established that men are most likely to vote that the female for many decades after the enfranchisement but this gap has slowly gone down since 1980s (Bagues & Esteve-Volart, 2010). The females and males have demonstrate to hold varying views concerning foreign and domestic policy issues that impact on the evaluation of the elected candidate. Additionally, the women continue to significantly run for elective seats although the number of elected women has been increasing sharply in the recent decades (Desposato & Norrander, 2009). The origins of gender gap in voting can be traced back to 1980 election whereby he was a Republican candidate (McElroy & Marsh, 2009). His campaign emphasized the opposition to abortion and the Equal Right Amendment and he supported the traditional values of the family as well as an aggressive policy for containment of the Soviet Communism by the military. These themes and issues that have characterized the Republican Party`s agendas since Reagan are reputed to have isolated a large population of women who since then never returned to the Republican camp (Desposato & Norrander, 2009). The figure beneath demonstrates the growing gender difference in voting behaviour over some years for men and women voting for the Democrats.
Source: (McElroy & Marsh, 2009)
In 1996, Clinton received 54 percent from women while only 43% from men indicating a difference of 11% (Krook & True, 2012). For Obama, also more women voted for him than men whereby 56% women voted for Democrats. The gender gap has significant implication. Since 1980s to 2008, every presidential election has seen the women outnumbering men in voting for the Democratic. Similarly, at the same time, the men have outnumbered women in voting for the Republican. Therefore, since 1980, there has been a definitive variation in partisanship between the men and women voters (Krook & True, 2012; Uleri & Gallagher, 2016). According to Times Mirror Center, the men and women in the USA are increasingly divided in issues concerning affirmative action of achieving racial equity, increased role of the government, firearms restrictions, the U.S military Intervention and Healthcare as well as welfare (Klofstad, Anderson & Peters, 2012). In 1992 elections, former president Clinton received 45 percent votes of the women as compared to Bush who got 37 percent. In 1996, Clinton obtained 54 percent women votes, Delo obtained 38 percent while Perot obtained 8 percent (Uleri & Gallagher, 2016).
There is little evidence on gender based difference in voting behaviour among the men and women from the United Kingdom. However, recent results indicate that more men vote for Conservative across all ages as well as from all social class as compared to women (Griffin, 2012). Before 1918, no women was allowed to vote in the parliamentary election. This saw the rise of suffrage campaign (right to vote for women) in the 20th century. Nonetheless, the movement ensured that women in United Kingdom were allowed to vote. One explanation behind the gender-based variation in voting behaviour is the difference between men and women regarding the issue they are concerned about (Bartle & Bellucci, 2014). For instance, the Labour Party supports both the welfare and well-being of families hence women are likely to benefit more than the men such as the minimum wage and the tax credits. Furthermore, females are more likely to assess policies with preferences based on the people they (Letki, 2008). In contrast, men tend to be paid more in term of the average salary than the female population thus can be appealed to the policies of the Conservative Party of minimal taxation. Also men are likely to discuss politics in an abstract depersonalized manner. Women are also more likely to vote for the Labour than United Kingdom Independent Party (Bartle & Bellucci, 2014). There is a big difference when the female and male population are treated as homogenous groups. Outstandingly, the younger women usually have the biggest swing vote for the Labour while the older females have a small swing vote to the Conservatives. These groups are sometimes almost exactly opposite of one another. In 2015, the Labour Party had a 20 point lead for women who are aged between 18 and 24 while the Conservatives had an 18 point lead within the women of at least 55 years (Letki, 2016).
Accordingly to Griffin (2012), during the election time gender gaps are evident whereby politically men and women are different and their voting behaviours can vary to a great extent or marginally. This is true to every location in the world but the reason behind gender gap is not well-understood. In the United Kingdom, females were more likely to vote for the Conservative than men (Childs, 2008). This cannot be attributed to the 1950s females who voted like their husbands. During the 1990s and the 1980s, many females particularly the young ladies moved left and gender gap contracted rapidly (Celis, 2008; Dermody, 2010). However, the onset of 2000s saw women under the age of 35 years more likely to support Liberial Dems as compared to men of similar age group. However, in overall they offered Labour more votes as compared to the men. Most researchers usually indicate that the British elections are dominated by class and therefore the women and men will fundamentally vote their class of interest (Childs, 2008). However, this is not true. It has been observed throughout the universe that the politics of class declines with time unlike in the 1950s when people would stay with their party even if they felt that it was not performing. Such changes give the politicians a chance or incentive to determine what the females want thus the fascination with Mumsnet (Massey, 2013).
Dermody (2010) argues that the women cared for their families in the past and they do even today. However, it is important to consider the combination of employment and life to determine the women`s voting behaviour and why they have actually swung to the left. Therefore, family life is an important determinant on how women vote (Jones & Norton, 2014). For instance, women want the state to intervene more in ensuring good family life like childcare. In Sweden, women have voted to preserve the welfare of family and state and such is the behaviour seen among the UK women. In 1994, the support for Labour increased rapidly due to the presence of Tony Blair who was a popular leader at the time and women liked excessively (Massey, 2013). Women`s vote comes from trust and liking a leader by always wanting to vote someone who connects with the real life. Women are not interested in the detailed policies and manifestos but on a more intuitive feel (Jones & Norton, 2014).
Gender and voting behaviour examination demonstrates that the manner in which the United Kingdom and the USA citizens connect to the democratic process can be explained as gendered. The gender variations in the voting behaviour as well as the participation rates persist in the USA and UK but the two nations vary considerably regarding the gender gaps. Unlike in the 1950s, the modern women tend to vote for the leftist parties as compared to the men. While the women and men vote at almost similar rates, the females still trail men in the participatory and political activities such as discussion and interest. In the USA the link between gender and voting behaviour can be associated to advocating for the rights of the minority as well as civil rights. Many women who usually vote for the Democrats as compared to the Republicans. There is little evidence on gender based difference in voting behaviour among the men and women from the United Kingdom. However, recent results indicate that more men vote for Conservative across all ages as well as from all social class as compared to women. Before 1918, no women was allowed to vote in the parliamentary election. This saw the rise of suffrage campaign (right to vote for women) in the 20th century. Nonetheless, the movement ensured that women in United Kingdom were allowed to vote. One explanation behind the gender-based variation in voting behaviour is the difference between men and women regarding the issue they are concerned about. For instance, the Labour Party supports both the welfare and well-being of families hence women are likely to benefit more than the men such as the minimum wage and the tax credits.