In the weeks leading up to the 2022 midterm elections, The 19th and SurveyMonkey teamed up to conduct a poll to find out what women, particularly women of color, and LGBTQ+ people think about politics, politicians and policy. We are not asking about the horse race; we're asking what motivates these voters and what barriers they face. How do they think America's systems are working for them? We're focusing in on the experiences of the communities we serve.
What women and LGBTQ+ people in America say about our country
70 percent of American adults do not think politicians are informed enough about abortion to create fair policies
There aren’t huge differences between men and women and gender-nonconforming people or Republicans and Democrats, nor between groups who think abortion should be legal all of the time or illegal all of the time. But overall, Americans don’t think politicians know enough to create fair policies around abortion — even if they have different opinions on what constitutes “fair.”
The overwhelming majority of Americans say abortion should be legal at least some of the time. Just 10 percent of Americans think it should always be illegal; 61 percent think it should be legal in all or most cases. Women and gender-nonconforming people are more likely than men to say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Women are also more likely than men — 48 percent vs. 40 percent — to say they expect abortion to become less accessible in their lifetimes.
Women who are caregivers have a more difficult time balancing work and life than men who are
The majority of Americans say they have an easy time balancing their work and personal lives. But people who are caregivers are more likely to say it's difficult — and there's a gender gap.
What caregivers say about balancing work and personal life
44% of married moms say the balance is difficult
38% of married dads say the same
48% of single moms say it's difficult
44% of single dads say the same
LGBTQ+ people are more likely to report facing discrimination when visiting a health care provider
LGBTQ+ people are less likely to say they’re satisfied with their health care — 63 percent vs. 73 percent of non-LGBTQ+ people. They’re also more likely to have experienced discrimination, been denied medical services or been blamed for their health problems.
What Americans told us about experiences with health care providers
28% of LGBTQ+ people said their health care provider was biased or stereotyped them
12% of non-LGBTQ+ people said the same
16% of LGBTQ+ people said they had been denied medical service
7% of non-LGBTQ+ people reported that experience
24% of LGBTQ+ people reported being blamed for their health problems
9% of non-LGBTQ+ people said they were blamed
Women and LGBTQ+ workers are more likely to experience sexual assault or harassment at work
Thirty percent of working women and 35 percent of gender-nonconforming workers say they have experienced sexual assault or harassment at work, compared with 11 percent of men. That figure is 41 percent for LGBTQ+ workers; for LGBTQ+ women, it's more than half.
How comfortable Americans said they would be reporting harassment at work
79% of employed Americans say they would be comfortable reporting harassment at work
84% of Black women said they would be comfortable
75% of White women would be comfortable
74% of Latinx and Asian women would be comfortable
The top two issues motivating people to vote are 'jobs and the economy' and 'preserving democracy'
Nearly half of Americans chose one of those two reasons. Jobs and the economy was the top motivator for Republicans and independents, while preserving democracy was the top choice among Democrats. Ten percent of women cited abortion as the main issue driving their vote. Overall, abortion was more likely to be the main motivating factor for people who think the procedure should be legal in all cases (13 percent) than for people who think abortion should be illegal in all cases (8 percent).
Most Americans say the news media is a critical component of our democracy
But they don’t see themselves in it. Two-thirds of women, 59 percent of men and 55 percent of gender-nonconforming people say they strongly or somewhat agree that the news media is a key part of our democracy. It’s about half of Republicans, 57 percent of political independents and 81 percent of Democrats. About 3 in 10 American adults say they almost never see news coverage that accurately reflects issues faced by people like them— including 41 percent of White men, who disproportionately hold positions of power in politics and business.
Who says media coverage reflects issues faced by people like them
34% of Americans say news coverage accurately reflects issues faced by people like them some of the time
35% of men say it almost never does
26% of women say almost never
41% of gender-nonconforming people also answer almost never
Support this work — and future projects like it
Your support helps us better understand what's motivating the communities we write for and about. The data gathered in this poll informs not just our journalism but also how other journalists report on women, particularly women of color, and LGBTQ+ people. Help us keep it up.
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Jennifer Gerson, Jasmine Mithani
This SurveyMonkey poll was conducted online in English and Spanish from August 22 to 29, 2022, among a national sample of 20,799 adults. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.