Anna Greenberg

Anna Greenberg is assistant professor of public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Recent Articles

Mind the Gender Gap

The erosion of the gender gap in this election starkly illustrates Alan Brinkley's insights regarding how issues of class and values pose challenges for progressives and the Democratic Party. In the last two presidential elections, the Democratic candidate won among women fairly decisively, by 16 points (Bill Clinton) and 11 points (Al Gore), respectively. In contrast, John Kerry won women voters by a mere 3 points, 51 percent to 48 percent. Kerry's trouble with women is clearly rooted in the decline of support among white, blue-collar women for Democratic candidates, a trend that reached its low point to date in this election. During the 1990s, Democratic candidates struggled with white, blue-collar women while gaining ground with college-educated women. In 2000, Gore won 53 percent of the vote among women with a high-school education or less, 50 percent of the vote among women with some college education, and 57 percent of the vote among women with a college education. This...

New Generation, New Politics

A new generation is coming of age in America and politicians ignore it at their peril. Generation Y, as it's been called, is expected to be as large as the Baby Boom Generation, and when the full group is of voting age, it could have as much political significance. It is a generation that has thus far shown itself to be disdainful of politics, cynical about political parties and more likely than any other age group to support third-party candidates. At the same time, these young people are engaged in the life of the community and expect to improve it. To write them off politically is to risk someone else mobilizing a sleeping giant. But reaching Generation Y voters will take some doing. They have little interest in retirement security or reforming Medicare, the dominant political issues of the last few election cycles. They are a racially diverse and, in many ways, a politically progressive group; as a result, more of them call themselves Democrats than do their predecessors in...

Do Real Men Vote Democratic?

T he gender gap is commonly understood as a story about women. Since 1980 women, repelled by the Republican position on social justice, economic inequality, gun control, military issues, and reproductive rights, have voted and identified as disproportionately Democratic. This summer, as Gore languished, a different story emerged. Women seemed briefly willing to support a kinder, gentler Republican presidential candidate who talked about education, Social Security, and tax relief. However, in the post-convention period, women have returned to the Democratic fold with the enthusiasm we would expect given the policy differences between the candidates. But there is another gender gap, and it is male. Over time, men have been deserting the Democratic Party in greater numbers than women have been embracing it. We might believe this loss does not matter so long as women remain the core of the Democratic coalition. But women are not monolithic; in most elections...

Adding Values

I sn't there something puzzling about our current political debate? With a popular Democrat having served two terms in the White House, the nation has seen sustained economic growth with low unemployment and low inflation. A well-qualified vice president is positioned to carry Democratic policies forward. If he were to gain Democratic majorities in Congress, he might be able to confront nagging problems such as inequality in the midst of prosperity. After all, the public puts more trust in the Democrats on almost everything that matters: securing Social Security's stability, reforming health care, raising education standards, and protecting the environment. Polls show that the public has more confidence in the Democrats to handle the economy and the budget. There is somewhat more trust in the Republicans to handle taxes and crime, but less markedly so than before the Clinton administration. The public turns to the Republicans on few other...

Will Choice Be Aborted?

Americans are profoundly ambivalent about abortion. A majority of voters accept the formulation of the pro-choice movement that abortion should be legal, safe, and rare. Yet most Americans consider the procedure distasteful and will accept an array of restrictions on it, particularly if they see abortion as undertaken lightly or irresponsibly. The public's very ambivalence gives the anti-abortion forces a tactical advantage. The so-called pro-life movement has been able to parlay this advantage into effective stealth campaigns against abortion rights at the state level and in the courts. According to the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), women's reproductive rights today are more restricted than they were in 1973 when the Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade. As their data show, abortion would be flatly illegal in 11 states if Roe v. Wade were overturned. Only six states and the District of Columbia are fully pro-choice. Sixteen states require waiting periods, and 21...