Donald Trump May Get Trumped by the Female Vote
as seen on NY Daily News
Following Donald Trump’s sweeping win in the Republican primaries — defying all conventional wisdom about our political process, the electorate and the mood of the country — it would be easy to think that nothing can stop The Donald.
That is, until you remember the ladies.
In 2012, after losing the White House for the second time in eight years, the Republican National Committee commissioned a now widely known post-mortem, called the Growth and Opportunity project. The report included sweeping recommendations and encouraged the party to reach out to women and minorities.
To quote the report: “Communicating, organizing, and winning the women’s vote should be part of all activities that the RNC undertakes. Women are not a ‘coalition.’ They represent more than half the voting population in the country, and our inability to win their votes is losing us elections.”
Of course, Trump heeded none of this advice and went on to a sweeping primary victory. That fact however, makes the RNC’s assessment no less true. Winning a majority of women is fundamental to winning the White House. Women have, in fact, decided every election in the country since 1980.
Over the last 20 years women have made extraordinary strides in American society. Today 38% of primary breadwinners are women, and women are earning college degrees at higher rates than men. They are stepping up to lead in unprecedented ways.
But they are also acutely aware of the barriers that remain, including systemic sexism, and subtle and unsubtle, conscious and unconscious bias. Few women today are untouched by this in some way.
And the collective frustration and desire to see the last barriers eradicated is something women share regardless of class, party, race or geography.
The one dividing line might be generational — younger women have faced fewer barriers and see the world as more of a meritocracy. That said, the idea that they are anything but fully equal would strike the vast majority of younger women as unimaginable.
So in an election where the Republican nominee has repeatedly and openly disparaged women, what happens?
There are, of course, women who supported Trump in the primary and will continue to support him. But in a general election, the demographics become insurmountable. Fifty-two percent of registered female voters lean Democratic, and in a year where the Republican nominee faces a 70-point gender gap, historic numbers of women may cross party lines and vote Democrat or simply stay home.
Obama beat Romney largely due to his advantage with women. This advantage will be exponentially greater for Clinton. Whatever the pundits may say, Sanders’ supporters (male and female) will overwhelmingly vote for Clinton in a general election. Given all this, Trump may come to regret his choices.
Women are not monolithic — we are 60% of the U.S. population and as diverse as the nation itself. And obviously there are many women who will never vote for Hillary or wouldn’t consider voting for her no matter who her opponent is.
But for many, the choice between a woman leader who is clearly qualified and a bully who shows clear contempt for women (not to mention immigrants and Muslims), however difficult, is clear.
No one wins the White House without women. Every candidate, regardless of party, would do well to remember the ladies.
You can access the original article on the NY Daily News website.