With largely outspoken candidates like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump running for the Presidency, it is no surprise that the female vote has fallen under intensified focus and scrutiny. More broadly, the role of women in government as well as elected office is being looked at more closely in the 2016 presidential election. According to PBS NewsHour, in 2012 women represented 53% of the voter block; it is clear that women will be essential to whomever clinches the Presidency this coming November. The media and the public have already seen evidence of this in presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as she constantly plays the “woman card”, and perceives herself as the only option for female voters. It is true that women have played a vital role in presidential elections in the past; however, the country has seen an explosion in candidates and lobby groups attempting to win over the women of America.

Women matter in an election, not only for their sheer numbers, but also because of the causes we feel most passionately about. For example, issues such as illegal immigration, the environment, the economy, and reproductive rights have all found themselves as central issues of this campaign. With female candidates running for office like Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina, their differing views on these issues show that all issues are women’s issues, and as young women in America, we deserve to have our voices heard just like everyone else.

Coincidence or not, the presumptive candidates, Trump and Clinton, have found themselves on nearly opposite ends of the political spectrum when it comes to women. Famously, or infamously, however you choose to view it, Donald Trump has been less than favorable with women during this election cycle. His abrupt, in your face style of speaking when it comes to addressing women or policy issues has proved that he has some serious work to do if he wants to win this November. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has been doing exceptionally well with women during her run for the Presidency. In Virginia, which voted on Super Tuesday, Clinton won 70 percent of the women vote compared to her Democratic adversary Bernie Sanders’ 30 percent. However, she struggles when it comes to men, due to the fact that she is having difficulty getting their vote. Only time will tell which candidate overcomes their obstacles in order to win this election.

While most female support comes from the left, Republican and conservative women also play a vital role in this upcoming election. The GOP makes up 48 percent of the voting block, while women make up 53 percent. Clearly, it is essential for both sides to win the hearts and minds of Democratic and Republican women alike. The GOP had a lackluster performance with women in the 2008 and 2012 elections, losing both to Barack Obama first by thirteen points, then by eleven points in 2012. Evidently, the female vote was essential to the Democratic Party winning both elections. It is important for the views and ideas of women from both sides of the aisle be equally represented in this election. The ongoing Presidential race further proves the importance of the female vote and truly just how powerful we are in bringing about change to our country.

Joleen T
FFL Contributor
Joleen is a Contributor at FFL. She enjoys reading, going to Chipotle, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. You can find her at the library, or studying for the LSAT. Her goal is to become a lawyer, and eventually run for public office. Her role models are Nikki Haley and Sandra Day O’Connor.

Read more articles