Men Also Think the Wage Gap Is a Major Issue

Not surprisingly, 41 percent of women say "equal pay" or "fair pay" is the most important issue facing working women. But so do 37 percent of men, according to Gallup.

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Bank customers use an automated teller machine (ATM) in Hollywood, on July 20, 2012 in California. Bank of America profits swung higher in the second quarter, the firm announced this week, reporting a net income of $2.5 billion on July 18. That was up markedly from the same period last year, when one-off accounting charges - designed to guard against liabilities - saw the bank post a loss of $8.8 billion.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GettyImages)

A Gallup poll released yesterday helps explain why Democrats have gained such political traction in the midterms with efforts to close the wage gap. The answer: Women and men think the gap is a pressing matter. So do liberals, moderates and a plurality of conservatives.

Not surprisingly, 41 percent of women say "equal pay" or "fair pay" is the most important issue facing working women, more than doubling the combination of "equal opportunity for promotion" and "no gender discrimination" at 20 percent. But so do 37 percent of men, according to Gallup.

Pay equity has become "a significant issue this year's political campaigns," Gallup's Jeffrey M. Jones writes. "And it resonates with voters."

While 51 percent of liberals and 44 percent of moderates name the wage gap as the top issue facing working women, so do 28 percent of conservatives. The No. 2 pick for conservatives is opportunity for promotion at 15 percent. They are far more likely (12 percent) than liberals (4 percent) or moderates (6) percent to name jobs as the top issue.

More than a quarter of conservatives (26 percent) say they have no opinion, compared with 9 percent of moderates and 8 percent of liberals. Twenty percent of men and 12 percent of women say they have no opinion on which is the most important issue facing working women. 

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