"Women have trended Democratic since the Ronald Reagan-Jimmy Carter 1980 election, but abortion isn’t the driving issue, said Seth McKee, a University of South Florida political science professor.
"It’s one of the myths in American politics that people think that’s where the gap comes from," he said of abortion. "There are lots of pro-choice men."
Instead, the gender gap is traditionally widened by issues of aggression -- meaning, more aversion from women to war and gun rights -- and government programs. Women are more likely to be in charge of family decisions on education, health and budgets, so they place more value on programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, said Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
"It’s typically the woman who is responsible for all of that," she said. "And in general the Democrats are more supportive of providing those services to women and their families."
Where do reproductive issues rank? Not high, no matter the poll."