Over the last two years, a gender divide has opened up in the U.S. Suddenly, men are far more optimistic about the nation's future than women.
Around half of American men now have "quite a lot" of confidence in the U.S.'s future, according to numbers highlighted by the Pew Research Center this week. Only 29 percent of American women say the same. That divide has widened considerably in just two years. As of 2015, men and women were almost identical in having that amount of confidence. (The data come from surveys performed from April 7 to 11, meaning there could have been some further shifting by now.)
This kind of confidence in the nation's future can be tied to many factors. It's hard to see this trend outside the lens of the Trump presidency, the biggest U.S. news story of the last two years — and most definitely a story with heavy weight on the future of the country.
(And economic indicators don't suggest that life has grown worse for American women as a group over that period — women's unemployment, like men's, has fallen in the last two years, and wages have risen for both women and men — though, of course, women still earn less than men.)
It's easy to see why some women, and Democratic women in particular, might be more worried about the nation than two years ago. Many women were outraged that the U.S. elected someone who once bragged — while microphoned, it turned out — about groping women. Some Clinton supporters were also devastated to see the first woman major-party candidate for president lose. And Trump's approval rating among women, as Pew pointed out, is far lower than it is among men.
But then, if that is indeed what brought Democratic women down (and, to be clear, that's an if), that raises a question about Democratic men. It would mean that those things left Democratic men significantly less troubled than their women peers.
Indeed, it's not enough to focus on women — as if somehow, something strange happened to their opinions in particular.
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