The continued underestimation of female voters


I’ve seen signs of this dissent in conservative Westchester, the “community” in which I live in unincorporated Miami-Dade County:

Lifelong Republican Linda Fogg pauses sometimes while explaining how she became a Hillary Clinton supporter.

A proud Texan and former docent at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Fogg has never voted for a Democrat for president. But there she was last week on the porch of a Panera Bread restaurant in one of Florida’s reddest communities sporting a “Republicans for Hillary” T-shirt — and inviting passers-by to join her club.

“I agonized literally for months,” Fogg said about her transition away from Trump and his “serious character flaws.” She considered supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson before finally settling on Clinton.

“I thought I would be voting for Johnson until I realized in a swing state, that vote would be wasted,” she said. “What I really needed to do to oppose Trump was to vote for Hillary Clinton.”Fogg and her small but growing band of disaffected Republicans is a potential sign of real trouble for the GOP nominee in the Sunshine State, where polls show Clinton with a narrow lead. Political handicappers say Trump must win Florida to claim victory on Nov. 8.

Digby made the point recently that all the talk about the ignored white working class assumes that women don’t comprise this pissed off faction. When male Trumpets (and to be fair Kellyanne Conway) dismiss Trump’s gross remarks as locker room talk, they alienate the constituency whom Trump needs to win a general election.

Boy, are they alienated. Harry Enten:

We haven’t seen anything like Clinton’s 20-point lead over Trump among women in decades. Women favored Bill Clinton by about 20 percentage points in 1996 (a landslide election), but the last time women favored either party’s nominee by more than 20 points was in 1972, when Republican Richard Nixon crushed Democrat George McGovern among both sexes. The only Democrat ever to win women by more than 20 points was Lyndon Johnson in 1964 — also in a blowout. Four years ago, President Obama carried women by only about 12 points. Even when he first won the White House, in 2008, by about double his 2012 margin, his margin among women was only 14 points. And yet, Trump is still carrying men. If the live-interview polls are on the mark, the difference between how men and women vote — the gender gap — in 2016 would be historic. Dating back to 1952, there has never been a 26-percentage-point gender gap.

Which is why I’m glad USA Today finally turns its attention to women – even if the tonal approach suggests an anthropologist stumbling upon a rare tribe.

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