A new Pew Research poll finds that since President Donald Trump's inauguration, Americans, particularly women, have become more engaged in the political system by contacting elected officials, attending demonstrations, and even paying more attention to political news.
Fifty-eight percent of women reported they had become more engaged in politics since Donald Trump entered office, compared with 46 percent of men. Fifteen percent of total respondents said they've attended a political event or protest since the election, and more than two-thirds of this group said they've attended anti-Trump events.
The Pew poll was released exactly six months after the historic Women's March, which was comprised of demonstrations all over the world and which many regard as the beginning of the anti-Trump resistance movement.
The Women's March originated with the idea of one woman, retired attorney Teresa Shook of Hawaii, who created a Facebook page the day after the 2016 election, calling for a March in the nation's capitol following Donald Trump's inauguration day. Within hours more than 10,000 people had agreed to participate.
The originally hoped-for Women's March on Washington in the nation's capitol drew an estimated 725,000 marchers. But organizers from across the country gathered both large and small crowds, resulting in more than four million total participants according to two researchers at the University of Denver and the University of Connecticut, who tallied the numbers through crowdsourcing.
The researchers, Jeremy Pressman and Erica Chenoweth, also noted the effort it took for many participants to organize or travel to marches. Two weeks after the march, Pressman and Chenoweth wrote in the Washington Post:
Five people marched in the cancer ward at a Los Angeles-area hospital. Fifty women marched in a retirement community in Encinitas, California...In Alaska, 2,000 people marched in Fairbanks with a high temperature of 19 below zero; in Unalakleet, 38 or 40 people marched despite a windchill of 40 below. One woman in a Western mountain state was snowed in and couldn't get to the nearby town where she intended to march. Instead of giving up, she held a march of one in her own town.
Internationally, marches were reported in dozens of countries on every continent; 30 participants marched in Antarctica.
Online on Friday, marchers shared photos from the gatherings they attended.
The impact of protesters who have mobilized since the Women's March has been felt, according to lawmakers.
As Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), one of the lawmakers who came out against the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare without replacing it, told Vox, "I think the concern of citizens generally has made an impact on me, yeah...You have the protesters on the other side...those voices are heard, absolutely."