Demographics are an interesting factor in elections. Good campaign managers spend hours studying the cross tabs in polls trying to discover patterns of voter behavior. While we all belong to several different demographics, as you begin to slice and dice the electorate the largest single demographic is women. The Trump campaign, and by extension the Republican Party seems to be doing everything possible to alienate them. Let’s explore.
This idea isn’t something that suddenly popped into my head as I tried to read the tealeaves in the wee hours of a recent morning; it came to me via the repeated comments of Republican women. Not just some lady at the grocery store who tends to vote Republican; but career female Republican operatives. More and more of them are wondering aloud and in public if there is still room for them in the GOP.
The Republicans have been waging a war on women for years. They, including their female operatives, refuted that claim as liberals talking smack. Then the dam broke with the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape featuring Donald Trump bragging about committing sexual assaults. The GOP could have stopped the damage by association by simply cutting any ties with Trump. In fact a few Republicans were smart enough to do just that. Most either stayed in support of him or tried to weasel out of it by saying they disagreed with his language but were still supporting him and intent on voting for him. A few like Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz flip flopped to the point of unendorsing Trump only to reendorse him a few days later. How is that for leadership and a profile in courage?
Like it or not, until Republicans in lockstep disavow him, Donald Trump is the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. If you notice the female Republicans in high office are not rallying to Trump’s side like the males are. Not coincidentally if you are looking to get a few Republican Senators to cross over to get something done the first door you knock on belongs to Maine Senator Susan Collins. Weeks ago Collins publically declared that she would not be voting for Trump.
Today the African-American vote is one of the Democrats’ most reliable. That was not always the case. Prior to the 1964 election the black vote skewed Republican. That was reasonable considering that the Republican Party was the Party of Lincoln. In 1964 the Republicans ran an extremist named Barry Goldwater. Starting with that election the Parties basically switched sides on racial issues; (some of it dates back to the 1948 election and the Dixiecrats.) The vast majority of today’s Southern Republicans would have been Democrats in their father’s and grandfather’s time.
Something similar may well be happening with the women’s vote. It’s not like women will be leaving the GOP. The excuse will be that their Party left them. In reality it is more like the GOP no longer had room for them.
How a Party of old, angry white males is going to be nationally viable is a mystery to me. On the morning of November 9th I think Trump may well be repeating Richard Pryor’s famous line in the 1974 hit movie Blazing Saddles: “Hey, where da white women at?” If the GOP doesn’t do some serious repair work and quickly they will be repeating the same line except their loss will include women of color.
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