The Democratic and Republican parties are not monoliths each advocating a single idea; they consist in coalitions of constituency groups made up of folks, often with differing ideas, but who decide to join together as a means to best support a candidate and the party that best supports their values and the direction in which they wish to see the country move. No other macro-constituency is larger than women, which make up over half of the U.S. population and notably women have for the past 20 years “turned out at higher rates than men in every election since 1996, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.” So one would think that the reality television real estate mogul turned Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who regards himself as a media maven would recognize this fact, but no – misogyny reigns.
While his campaign, which has been built on hateful divisive anti-American rhetoric scored votes and he has the lead in his battle for the Republican nomination, as The Huffington Post notes that “there’s at least one large group in America that is increasingly unimpressed: women.”
According to a sizeable and recent Reuters/Ipsos poll taken March 1 -15 of 5,400 respondents:
“Half of U.S. women say they have a ‘very unfavorable’ view of the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, up from the 40 percent who felt that way in October.”
As noted, Trump’s disapproval with women is up from 40 percent in October. This would suggest that Trump seemed to have weathered his very public exchange with Fox News host Megyn Kelly resulting from the first Republican presidential debate in August of last year, when as a debate moderator she challenged him with tough questions about his disparaging remarks regarding women. At that time, Trump responded saying of Kelly, she seems to have “blood coming out of her wherever…more recently calling her a ‘bimbo’ on Twitter.” Trump has also referred to some women as “fat pigs” and others as “dogs,” while infamously making fun of his former presidential rival Carly Fiorina’s face, saying “Would anyone vote for that?”
However, Trump has not learned and his clearly un-presidential comments and continued childish shenanigans appear to be impacting his standing – as that number is now up – as half the women in this country view him unfavorably. Republican women as well have had enough. A former Florida Jeb Bush supporter said “Trump lost her vote during a debate when he exchanged potshots with his rivals. It changed my opinion. When they catfight all the time and act like little boys, pointing fingers, raising voices, adding she now supports Kasich.” While another woman has noted “I think Trump is very scary” and another told Reuters straight-out “she disliked the way he has belittled women.”
Not surprisingly, Trump’s campaign did not make itself available to Reuters for comment, but Republican strategist David Carney said “If the presidential election were tomorrow, women would be a big problem for Trump. But he has time to fix it.”
Well perhaps, but Trump’s recent trajectory suggests otherwise. In fact, the rise in anti-Trump sentiment among women is starting to be reflected in the polling in a battle between Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. The same Reuters poll shows “likely women voters would support Clinton over Trump by nearly 14 percentage points. Among men, Clinton would win by about 5 percentage points.”
It seems like a cliché to suggest that Trump has no understanding of the history of this country and that he fails to recognize that the Constitution, which if elected president, he will be sworn to uphold. He very well knows that our country has been build the idea that justice and freedom for all people, and not based on the fascist authoritarian rhetoric he espouses. No doubt he has managed to find and tap into the resentment of an all-to-large swath of American haters, who really don’t care what the Constitution says. However, what Trump does not seem to understand is that the largest constituency of voters in this country are women and so for the sake of Democracy and the Democratic party, we say to the misogyny that has permeated Trump’s campaigning since his inception as a candidate – keep it up. He’ll pay for it.