Our most recent Women In Optometry Pop-up Poll found that ODs who responded expected to or had already voted prior to the mid-term election in high numbers. Historically, physicians tend to have a lower-than-average voting record, but 44 percent of respondents said they absolutely planned to vote and 51 percent said that they already had. The poll was open a week before election day and through it. Only 3 percent of respondents said they would not vote, and 2 percent said that they could not vote in this election.
Moreover, the majority of respondents, 78%, said that they almost always vote when there is an opportunity, and another 11 percent said that they do so more often than not. Five percent said they do so about half the time, 2% said they do so less often and 4% said they almost never vote.
Among respondents overall, slightly more identified as Democrats (40%) compared to Republicans (31%). Eighteen percent said that they not identify with a party, and 6 percent said that they did identify with a party but didn’t want to say which one. The remainder either noted that the switched parties, vote the issues or named another party affiliation.
Among women ODs specifically, the group trended more to Democrats (44%) compared to Republicans (27%), no party affiliation (19%), chose not to say (7%) and other (2%). Among male ODs, the numbers were different, with 43% identifying as Republicans, 33% identifying as Democrats, 19% listing no party affiliation and 5% choosing not to say.
Sixty-eight percent of the respondents said they were women ODs, and 18 percent said they were male ODs. Nearly 10 percent were women, not ODs, and the remainder were men who are not ODs.
As seemed true with the electorate overall, politics of the day and President Trump were high on the minds of those who left comments. These included:
“Not only do I vote every year, I take my kids with me to the polls to show them the importance of voting. It is our right and our responsibility to vote in elections. Every single vote DOES matter. Be informed, be involved”
“My wife and I used to identify more along the conservative side but our adopted, foreign-born daughter is tormented and living in fear that her citizenship will be revoked because of all the anti-immigrant rhetoric she hears. At this point, I don’t care if a politician is otherwise supportive of optometry – I put my family first and we’re not liking the climate that our children are being told is normal. This isn’t.”
“This is a scary time for my wife and I, as the current administration has made it clear through policy statements and memos over the past few weeks from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and the State Department that they intend to go after the rights of LGBT people. I will definitely be voting.”
“I am a registered Republican but for the past five years wound up voting all Democratic candidates.”
“Medicare for all, public education and gun control are issues that matter most. Oh, and the idiot in the White House, but he is not on the ballot.”
“It’s more important now than ever to exercise your right to vote.”
“The fear-mongering and hateful vitriol that is being spewed from the current administration needs to stop. It saddens me to be raising my young kids in this type of political climate! Hopefully on 11/6, it’ll be the start of something new and hopeful.”
“I like to vote in primaries, as that is sometimes the only election that will matter- that unfortunately keeps me registered in a party I no longer feel an affinity with. In my state only registered party members can vote in primaries.”
“I always vote and am very surprised that so many doctors don’t!”