Why Trump Supporters Are Asking to Kill the 19th Amendment

October 13th 2016

When FiveThirtyEight head Nate Silver published maps of what the electoral picture would look like if only men or only women voted on Tuesday, it revealed a stark contrast. The men-only map showed a massive win for presidential candidate Donald Trump, while the women-only map gave us an even bigger landslide for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

This maps prompted Trump voters to begin calling for the 19th Amendment, passed in 1920 to give women the right to vote, to be repealed so that only men can have the franchise once again. They started the Twitter hashtag #RepealThe19th, which immediately went viral and was promptly taken over by outraged Hillary Clinton voters of both genders.

Unfortunately for anti-women’s suffrage Trump voters, repeal of the 19th Amendment is extremely unlikely. The only way to repeal an amendment is with another amendment, and the women in Congress and state legislatures probably aren’t interested in taking away their own right to vote.

But beyond the momentary outrage sparked by a soon-forgotten hashtag, there’s something to be gleaned from the trend. Political consultant Matthew Isbell created a map that shows the congressional districts of every legislator who voted to ratify the 19th Amendment in 1919.

MSNBC host Joy Reid pointed out a parallel between the districts that opposed passage of the 19th Amendment nearly 100 years ago, and the current base of voters who support Trump.

Sure enough, states with a large percentage of Congressmen who voted against the 19th Amendment in 1919 are states that today are polling in the direction of a Donald Trump victory.

Not only that, but when it came time for individual state legislatures to ratify the amendment, the last step before it becomes a law, southern states mostly rejected it. Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi all voted it down, only ratifying it decades later – sometimes not until the 1970s. Sure enough, all of these states other than Virginia (a swing state) are bastions of Trump support, and have been solidly Republican for decades. In fact, if it weren't for Tennessee voting in favor, the 19th Amendment would have failed to received two-thirds majority of states it needed to pass.

The analogy isn’t perfect, of course. Many Trump-supporting states did ratify the 19th Amendment, most unanimously. At the same time, a few states, including Delaware and Maryland, that would later be liberal stalwarts, rejected it in their state legislatures. And, most importantly, it's not fair to say that even a significant Trump voters want to disenfranchise women; this could be yet another elaborate effort at online provocation. 

But generally, the parallel holds up – states whose national and state lawmakers rejected women’s suffrage in the 20s are those that make up Donald Trump’s base of support in 2016.

So while it’s clear the 19th Amendment isn’t going away, #RepealThe19th shows that those who would seek to deny equal rights based on gender are here to stay, as well. 

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