Just in time for the election, I decided to take a different stance this week and talk about women who are voting for Trump, instead of more focus on the topic of why Trump has lost female votes. It seems that there’s a mix of Republican women who have voted for Trump without excitement, some who have taken a different road and voted against Trump, and then there’s some hardcore Republicans who are with him through and through. Although there are two sides to every story, I would like to argue that Hillary Clinton’s democratic views on certain topics such as abortion, respect, and how some think she negatively represents women have caused women voters to turn against her and see Trump’s qualities, such as him being a savvy businessman, speaking his mind, and getting the job done.
Trump at a rally showing off the Women for Trump logo.
The New York Magazine published an interesting article about how ten specific republican women’s votes have formulated over the course of the election process. This includes ideas such as, “I wouldn’t vote for Hillary. It’s especially the issue of abortion. I am a total pro-life person.” And, “He’s a businessman, and I think that’s what this country needs: someone to figure out what we’re going to do with our economy” And lastly, “I don’t understand how she can say she respects women when she doesn’t respect herself.” Not only does this article encompass opposing opinions from what we’ve heard a lot about women and Trump, but it holds truth to the reason why women are choosing Trump. As we touched on in class, people have a warrant to vote for Trump and try or die is his only alternative. His aggressiveness has seemed to win over women with valid reason, and although this still means that many women have reason to vote against him, it’s refreshing to hear a different perspective of the warrant that Republican women have about him. I definitely see how these women have formulated their opinions based on Trump’s ideas on many issues and his tactics such as being straight to the point, and why they have chosen to not side with Hillary’s extra baggage.
All in all, Tuesday, November 8 (tomorrow, yikes) will go down in history as a very interesting election for many reasons. The big question is if Trump will get enough of the women’s votes like these, although it seems right now that his negative qualities may be shining more than his positive ones.
Personally being from Austin, Texas, a blue city within a red state, it’s interesting to me to see how this elections votes have progressed within the state of Texas. Although it looks like Texas will still turn out to be a red state, there was a lot of talk about how it’s more blue than it has ever been. In particular, Texas women’s votes for Hillary vs. their votes for Trump could have affected this competitiveness, especially in state like Texas that has a lot of electoral votes. I would like to argue that Donald Trump has deterred Texas women voters, specifically suburban ones, so much that he has caused less of a marginal republican lead than normal in Texas.
NPR states, “Trump will carry Texas, but probably by a lot less than the 16-point margin Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney beat President Obama by in 2012.” It goes on to tell us about how certain Texas Republican women citizens are carrying worry about the typical, and understandable, concerns with Trump: how he talks about women, that he’s not a politician, etc. Just as Dr. Adams told us during lecture, Texas is a big place to focus on during the election night, which is something that was probably not an issue for Romney four years ago. On a bigger scale, Dr. Adams gave several reasons as to why the south (including Texas) is becoming more purple in general, one being immigrants – something that you see a lot of in Texas (and many that have probably chosen to vote for Hillary due to Trump “[going] out of his way to alienate Hispanic voters.”
Texas presidential election votes in 2012. How will this map change in 2016?
It all comes full circle when you look at how the effects of women (and even immigrants in Texas, which are partially women) in Texas have changed the makeup of Texas’ vote statistics. I believe Trump has definitely stirred a change in the Texas women’s votes; many may be choosing to vote for Hillary because of Trump’s questionable actions. When it’s all said and done, it will be interesting to see how different Texas’ voter gender demographics differ from the past, and it’s even more interesting to me that Texas is even a state to focus on during election night in general.
Time after time, we have seen how Donald Trump’s untrustworthiness prevails through his issues with degrading women. At this point in the election process, the numbers are becoming more predicable and clearer. There is a chance Trump could lose this election, and when push comes to shove, a large contributing factor to that could be the repeated surfacing of his comments about women. A casual recent comment included, “Oh, I’m sure she’s never been grabbed before.” in reference to a porn star (Jessica Drake) who is accusing him of inappropriate physical activity. I would like to argue that not only Donald Trump’s continuous misconduct such as this, but also the way he has handled the accusations, has caused him to lose many polls.
Trump and Jessica Drake, 2006
The New York Times explains how Trump “sees a different reality” than the polls. But, is the reality Trump is seeing an actually realistic viewpoint? Trump says he is winning, his supporters think the polls aren’t real, and he even claims that “seventy-five percent of the American people, based on the polls, think our country is headed on the wrong track”. Claims can be made from each and every which way possible, but to get down to the matter, how has Trump been able to still be successful enough for a close race despite problem after problem with accusations? In class we discussed the idea of “try or die” with Trump and how this is the only alternative. Trump is obviously aggressive with forceful and authoritative actions, and his attack has created a unique vision for America that has caused people to see a good reason to vote for him. Many may argue that his biggest problem also lies in this and can be seen from a different perspective, one from him “coming off the rails” (in class discussion). As stated above, it seems although his “try or die” approach has helped him to an extent, him “coming off the rails” has hurt him more, which has in turn caused him to lose polls. The NYT article previously discussed is a prime example of this.
Many may say there isn’t hope for Trump at this point in time, and although I disagree, I see how the contributing factors (such as females, which affects the female vote) in his approach are hurtful. In the end, time will tell.
A double standard is an interesting topic to consider for the topic of politics. While it especially pertains to this election because the democratic and republican candidates are of opposite sex, it takes on a whole new meaning due to Donald Trump’s accusations and degrading comments about women and all around inappropriate behavior. But, how would all of these actions and words be taken if they had come out of a woman’s mouth, more importantly that of Hillary Clinton? I would like to argue that if Hillary Clinton had been in the shoes of Donald Trump and completed the over the line acts and spoken the audacious words that he has, she would be criticized more and trusted less than Trump is now, which would make her a victim of the gender double standard. I would also like to argue how the narrative candidates write and their roles with the media are affected by their gender.
New York Times states, “Imagine if Clinton had said, ‘You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] writes as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” Not only is this an interesting quote to look at having to do with Trump and gender and the double standard, but it has to do with the media and consuming politics. As talked about in class, each story writes a different narrative for us to consume, which causes us to consume things besides vital world issues, example: pieces of ass. This New York Times article focuses on political happenings that do not have to do with what our potential presidents may be doing for taxes or international policy. This is an example of a how changing relationship between candidates and the media (in class discussion) can stem from the role a candidate plays in a campaign. Trump and Clinton’s roles intersect but also are independent and at the opposite ends of the spectrum, and while both untrustworthy, Trump’s role has truly gone above and beyond Hillary’s in terms of his ill-mannered commentary. Therefore, his narrative and role with the media has helped write his own story that is based around his extra fluff. More importantly, if Hillary followed the same plot, her narrative and role with the media would likely be more critically judged because she’s a woman.
Media and candidates all come full circle. In the long run, the narrative a politician writes depending if they’re male or female plays a vital role in the effect that actions and words have when it comes to their relationship with media, voters, and the democratic system as a whole.
It’s safe to say that Trump’s chances of winning the 2016 presidential election have been damaged by his habitual and degrading comments against women. Mostly female voters are affecting this, as their opinions are strongest on Trump being biased against women (The Washington Post). Trump is put between a rock and a hard place here, as women’s votes are an asset to winning, and they have made up “the majority of the vote in every presidential election since 1980” (The Washington Post). I would like to argue that Donald Trump’s most recent publicized comments, the 2005 self described “locker room banter” will push many undecided female voters over the edge to not vote for him.
In my opinion, Trump’s strong suits are masked by his weaknesses, such as lack of tactfulness and untrustworthiness, shown through his recent surfaced remarks. The media is clearly attached to covering the extra baggage that comes along with Trump aside from his political ideals, shown through them digging up information on his inappropriate ‘05 comments (no comment on the details of those). The media is using junkyard dog journalism throughout this scandal (and his other scandals), as they all want to “add an element” to the story that hasn’t been covered yet. This communication tactic brings voters to see different ideas and framed displays of rhetoric that they may not have seen or thought of before. This is a problem for Trump, not only because of his rocky standing with women, but because of the way his comments are being publicized. Another interesting perspective is from Hillary Clinton’s point of view, which is seen below.
The function of not only Trump’s words alone but the ways they are displayed and communicated in the media bring about a major problem. The implications? Again, a domino effect starting with likely losing vital female votes, and possibly resulting in losing the election. Yikes.
The Big Question: Will women vote for their same gender nominee, or side with Trump?
Demographically, Trump has set a clear trend for gaining male votes, but needs to flip the audience to females to increase his chances of taking office. Why are fewer females that are siding for him? An obvious point to this stance is rooted in the media’s display of how he has treated women during his time as the republican nominee (and who knows, maybe before), or how he has at least publicly made comments that bring women down.
Interestingly enough, “Four years ago, Romney carried this demographic [white women with college degrees] over President Obama, 52 percent to 46 percent, according to exit polls.” (The Washington Post).
Trump just cannot seem to get these women’s attention, and understandably so. Note below what he had to say via Twitter three years ago and one year ago, and it’s interesting to note how the continuation of comments like this during his tenure have changed women’s political stance.
Trump must also feel the need to positively portray his viewpoint of women through things like his ad campaign featuring his daughter (a business woman) to explain his support for a workforce in which women are treated as that of men. “The ad campaign, called “Motherhood,” will air this week nationally and in swing states on women-focused cable channels” (The Washington Post).
The list goes on as to what Donald Trump has stated about women in his past, present, and likely in his future. In the long run, this has probably caused him to lose a chunk of women’s votes, which are vital votes for the current presidential election. Whether or not he wins some votes back is up to the people, but either way, the female vote for Trump is an interesting statistic to monitor as time goes on.