President Trump is seeing his popularity among women fall to some of its lowest levels since he took office. That's bad news for his party as it tries to retain control of Congress this fall.
An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll reveals that most female voters prefer Democrats this fall, and the gap in Democrats' favor is larger than 20 points. This is in part because women have such a negative view of Trump's job performance. While Trump's overall job performance approval remains low — about 40 percent — the percentage of women approving of his performance is only 3 in 10, 20 points lower than the percentage of men who approve. Trump's approval among women was also 30 percent in August 2017, when many people criticized him for blaming "both sides" for the tragic violence that came after a Charlottesville rally led by a white nationalist.
And much of the lack of support comes from suburban women, whom the campaign leaned on surrogates such as Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter, to deliver. Nearly 6 in 10 suburban women strongly disapprove of Trump. And perhaps because of this, Democrats have a nearly 30-point edge with suburban women.
Other recent polls, including the latest from Quinnipiac, show similar results. In that poll, female voters prefer the Democratic candidate over the GOP candidate in this fall's midterms elections by 25 percentage points. Even most white women — a demographic group that Trump won in 2016 — now prefer a Democratic candidate. And this is not good news for Republicans hoping to keep the House. The Washington Post's Dan Balz wrote about this earlier this month:
The disconnect between President Trump and female voters is serious and not getting better. That’s a potentially big problem for Republicans in the November elections — but only if the women opposed to the president turn out to vote.
Trump’s election divided an already fractured country, deepening the red-blue chasm that has become the defining feature of today’s politics. But the revulsion among many women toward the president adds another layer to the politics of discontent.
Trump is doing nothing to mitigate the problem. Just the opposite.
Balz's take is based on the latest Washington Post-Schar School poll showing that only 32 percent of women have a positive view of Trump. The majority — 65 percent — have a negative view. The poll revealed that support even among Republican women — the group of women most likely to approve of Trump — is low. Only about 3 in 10 GOP women say they strongly approve of the way Trump is handling his job.
Republicans wanting to improve their shot at coming to Washington may not be able to do so unless their party leader improves his reputation with female voters. But if the past is an indicator of the future, odds are that Trump is not going to do much pivoting — even if it causes him to lose some of the women who signed on with him last time.