The congresswoman’s performance among women came out a wash because those 45 and older favored Blackburn by 9 percentage points, while women younger than that backed Democratic former Gov.
Blackburn, a fiery supporter of President
Pre-election polls suggested it was an open question whether female voters would back Blackburn, who firmly endorsed Trump’s choice of
While Kavanaugh denied the allegations and was confirmed last month, the nomination fight brought gender to the forefront of
Some polls suggested Blackburn would struggle, while others suggested female voters were more divided.
Age overall represented a big breaking point for Blackburn, with both male and female voters 45 and older favoring her by 18 percentage points, and those younger leaning toward Bredesen, 51 percent to 46 percent. Men, meanwhile, preferred Blackburn over Bredesen by 20 points.
Bredesen got a campaign boost from
But immigration was the issue foremost on voters’ minds, the survey showed.
Regardless of gender, voters who supported Blackburn, like voters who supported
Blackburn, a Fox news regular with tea party credentials, followed Trump’s lead on immigration in touting his proposed
“There was a lot of agreement on issues and I think that that’s why women moved toward us,” Blackburn told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
Among women 45 and older, 55 percent described themselves as Republican or leaning that way, with 35 percent saying they lean or are Democratic. For women up to 44 years old, 47 percent said they lean or are Republican and 43 percent said they lean or are Democratic.
Blackburn made a point of stressing she wasn’t running for office on her gender. But she picked moments to bring gender into focus.
She preferred to be called congressman, not congresswoman. And in her victory speech Tuesday, she happily said people could now just call her senator.
Her campaign also highlighted her moves to break the glass ceiling: She was the first woman hired by a major
In February, when some
Still, the historic significance of becoming
“They were just so excited that there was a female that they identified with who was breaking a barrier and opening more doors for them,” Blackburn said. “And I appreciate having that opportunity.”
As for Swift, Blackburn said, she doesn’t think her interjection made any difference one way or another.
AP VoteCast found that among Blackburn voters, 55 percent said they have an unfavorable view of
“I hope (Swift) and her colleagues could kind of shake it off and realize that I always like to have a conversation with people who want to improve the quality of lives for Tennesseans,” Blackburn said, throwing in a reference to Swift’s ‘Shake it Off.’