At a time when women’s issues are at the forefront of public discourse, one might expect that female voters would lean towards Democratic candidates. However, President Trump’s recent primary victory in New Hampshire has revealed an astounding fact: he has a big lead among women in the GOP primary.
According to exit polls, 63 percent of women who voted in the Republican primary in New Hampshire voted for Donald Trump. This is a significant increase from the 35 percent of women who voted for him in 2016. In contrast, just 11 percent of women voted for his closest rival, Bill Weld.
So what explains this phenomenon? How can a president who has been repeatedly criticized for his insensitive and misogynistic comments have such a strong base of female supporters within the Republican party? Here are a few possible explanations:
1. The economy and jobs
One of the key issues that President Trump has emphasized during his campaign is the economy. His supporters argue that he has presided over a period of economic growth and low unemployment. For many women, this issue is paramount – especially those who are the primary breadwinners in their families. While the gender pay gap and other issues still persist, many women feel that Trump’s policies have helped them succeed in the workforce.
2. His stance on abortion
While Trump has a history of controversial comments about women’s bodies, he has taken a staunchly pro-life stance on the issue of abortion. For many conservative women, this is a non-negotiable issue. They believe that life begins at conception, and that any politician who supports abortion rights is essentially endorsing murder. Trump has taken steps to restrict abortion access in several states, which has earned him the support of many pro-life women.
3. His “tough guy” persona
One of the most striking aspects of Trump’s political style is his unapologetic embrace of aggression and toughness. He frequently insults his opponents, uses harsh language to describe his critics, and generally presents himself as someone who will not back down. For some women, this is a refreshing change from the more polite and measured tone of traditional politicians. They may see Trump as a strong leader who is not afraid to get his hands dirty.
4. The role of evangelical voters
The Republican base is heavily influenced by evangelical Christians, who make up a significant portion of the party’s primary voters. Evangelicals tend to be highly conservative on social issues, including gay rights, transgender rights, and abortion. For many of these voters, Trump’s policies align with their religious beliefs. They may overlook his personal flaws in light of his perceived commitment to their values.
5. A lack of attractive alternatives
Finally, it’s worth noting that Trump’s opponents in the primary race have not been especially compelling or inspiring. Bill Weld, his closest rival, is a relatively unknown politician who has struggled to gain traction. Other candidates, such as Joe Walsh and Mark Sanford, dropped out of the race early on. Without any strong contenders to challenge him, Trump may have seemed like the safest and most pragmatic choice for many Republican women.
Of course, these are just a few possible explanations for why Trump has such a strong lead among women in the GOP primary. It’s likely that there are many other factors at play, including regional differences, personal relationships, and even pure chance. It’s also worth noting that Trump’s support among male voters is even higher than his support among women, suggesting that his popularity is not solely based on his appeal to women.
Whatever the reasons, it’s clear that Trump’s lead among women in the GOP primary is a significant development. It suggests that many women within the party are willing to overlook his flaws and embrace him as a leader. Whether this support will hold up in the general election remains to be seen, but for now, Trump’s strong showing in New Hampshire is a clear indication that he has a powerful base of support among Republican women.