Trump’s campaign is suffused with race-baiting and condescension toward women (“suburban housewives”). On health care, normally the most important issue for women, Trump threatens to undo the Affordable Care Act. He also lied to the public about covid-19, resulting in close to 200,000 deaths, “virtual schooling” (a nightmare for many women who must work and supervise their children’s education), food insecurity, 27 million workers looking for jobless benefits, and widespread fear of eviction. What’s not to like, right?
A significant majority of women do not like what they see. The nonpartisan group All in Together recently commissioned a poll with Lake Research and Emerson College Polling of 1,273 registered women, oversampling 668 registered female voters in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arizona, Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The poll found: “Women voters favor Biden by 11-points [higher than Hillary Clinton’s margin in 2016], men voters prefer Trump by a 7-point margin (50% Trump, 43% Biden, 7% undecided), for a gender gap of 18-points. … Despite the Trump campaign’s efforts to gain suburban women’s support, they are breaking for Biden by a 14% margin. Senior women are also voting for Biden (54%) over Trump (42%) with 5% undecided.” Unsurprisingly, Black women favor Biden by a huge margin (84 percent to 12 percent), as do women younger than 30 (78 percent to 18 percent).
Trump still leads among White non-college-educated women, but in what must be a three-alarm fire for Republicans, the pollsters report, “Of the women who usually vote for Republicans, 25% are voting for Biden this year (71% are voting for Trump).”
If you want to know what those ads from the Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump are doing, this is it. They are peeling off the most susceptible Republicans, who tend to be women. Women simply do not like Trump. Fifty-five percent of women — including 50 percent in battleground states — have an unfavorable view of him. Women voters’ preference for Biden spans multiple issues:
Women give Biden a 23-point advantage on race relations (57% trust Biden more to 34% trust Trump more).Biden has a 21-point advantage among women on handling the coronavirus pandemic (57% to 36%).Women give Biden a 14-point advantage on reopening schools (52% to 38%).Women give Biden a 10-point advantage on law and order (52% to 42%).Finally, women give Biden an 8-point advantage on economic recovery (51% to 43%).
In critical battleground states, women favor Biden over Trump on law and order by a margin of 51 percent to 42 percent. Stressing law and order (aside from lying to Americans about covid-19) may turn out to be Trump’s single dumbest campaign move.
Keep in mind that while Trump still wins over White non-college-educated women, his lead (59 percent to 37 percent) is less than his 61 percent to 34 percent margin in 2016. Meanwhile, Biden is doing better than Clinton did with women in most public polls. If Biden continues to bolster his advantage with White college-educated women, turn out female voters of color and narrow his deficit with White non-college-educated women, he will be in a much better position to win than Clinton, especially in battleground states. If Biden does win, a good deal of the credit will go to women voters.
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