For all of the uselessness of The Narrative™ around the contest, there's one point that's worth picking out. After two weeks of Trump haranguing Ted Cruz's wife, Heidi, and taking 42,389 different positions on abortion — including broaching the idea of punishing women who undergo illegal abortions and then walking it back — he didn't do any worse with women than he did with men in the state, according to exit poll data reported by CNN.
That's actually unusual. In every other state for which we have exit or entrance poll data, Trump has done slightly or substantially better with men.
There are margins of error at play here, certainly, and we shouldn't assume that the exact same percentage of men and women came out to support Trump in the state. Comparing apples to apples, though — turnout from one state to the next — Trump did relatively well with women in Wisconsin. Despite opponents running ads such as this:
We noted last month that Trump is generally viewed less favorably by women than men — both among Republicans and overall.
So what happens when we add all of this up? One possibility is that the exit polls are off or missed movement by women against Trump. Another is that Trump's rough week simply had no effect and that The Narrative™ was wrong. And there's a third option: The things that Trump did and said aren't going to hurt him much with Republican women — but they might hurt him with non-Republican women.
For that, we turn to data from Gallup, which regularly polls Americans for their attitudes on a number of things, including billionaire presidential candidates. Gallup was kind enough to give us weekly favorability ratings for Trump in three periods: From March 16 to 23 (a period that ends on the day Trump retweeted a rude picture of Ted Cruz's wife), March 23 to 29, and March 30 to Apr. 5.
So how did women feel about Trump's bad week with women? They didn't care. There's no statistical significance to the differences.
Notice that women still like Trump less than everyone overall — the pattern that we showed above. But that didn't really change much after the "bad week."
We can speculate reasons for that, too. Maybe opposition to Trump is already baked in with women, Republican or not. Maybe people didn't hear about what he said.
But speculation about the effects of Trump's comments are what got us into this mess. What we can say with certainty is that Trump's comments didn't hurt him with Republican women in Wisconsin and don't seem to have hurt him with women anywhere else, either.
Creating a narrative is hard.