Women voters will lead the way in blocking Trump’s bid for another term
After 1992’s record-setting election of four women to the U.S. Senate, pundits tagged it the “Year of the Woman.”
The label was resuscitated after the 2018 midterms, when more than 100 women were elected to the House of Representatives.
But as historic as those milestones proved to be, my friends, we ain’t seen nothing yet.
Women will be the greatest single driving force in this year’s election cycle, and the voting bloc most responsible — thank you in advance, women voters — for keeping ex-President Trump out of office and democracy on track.
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Campaigns always depend on a candidate’s ability to attract a diverse coalition of supporters, but this year’s races for the White House, Congress and many state and local offices will be largely decided by issues that matter most to women.
And, yes, a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body will be at or near the top of the political agenda this year.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the momentum in support of abortion rights at the ballot box has been real and unrelenting. Voters in six states — California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Vermont, and Ohio — “have voted on abortion related constitutional amendments, and the side favoring access to abortion prevailed in every state,” according to a report by Kaiser Family Foundation.
Abortion rights advocates aren’t stopping there. “There are efforts underway,” adds KFF, “to put constitutional amendments regarding abortion on the 2024 ballot in as many as 13 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.”
The ballot measures all have a good shot of passing. Polls show consistently strong support for abortion rights nationwide, even in Republican-dominated states. In November, 55% of people surveyed by the Wall Street Journal-NORC said they backed abortion rights for women for any reason, including 77% support among Democrats (up from 52% in 2016), though just one-third of registered Republicans said that they backed abortion access for any reason.
That same poll also found that “86% of [all] respondents said they supported access to abortion in instances of rape or incest, and 89% support it when a woman’s health is endangered by the pregnancy.”
Women, of course, are far from single-issue voters. They care about jobs, the economy, health care, housing, immigration and a wide swath of other issues.
At the same time, I’m convinced that most women voters — Democrat, independent and Republican alike — like never before are sick and tired of men telling them what to do. And also like never before, they’re ready to deliver that message loud and clear in November.
A century after winning the right to vote and after decades of failed attempts to win passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (which would finally guarantee women equal rights under the Constitution), the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade wasn’t just the last straw, (and forgive the mixed metaphors) but the final nail in the coffin for today’s GOP leadership and its stand bearer Donald J. Trump.
What author Tanya Melich labeled “The Republican War on Women” in her 1996 book has now fully metastasized into Trumpublicanism, personified by the ex-president’s unbridled sexism and bigotry.
Let’s face it, Trump treats most women like dirt, and the GOP lets him get away with it.
Some 70% of Republicans say they believe Trump’s lie that he won the 2020 election and two-thirds of Republicans say they’ll vote for him even if he’s convicted of a felony, and they’re cheering on his repeated sexist and bigoted attacks against his only Republican rival of any consequence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Trump supporters, including women in the Republican base, are also standing by their man in the face of a court ruling this spring that found him liable for sexually assaulting journalist E. Jean Carroll. (The judge in the case called it rape.) And last month, a civil jury awarded Carroll $83.3 million to punish Trump for defaming her by repeatedly claiming Carroll made the whole story up.
No, not all Republicans hate women. Half of all Republicans are women — which goes to show that, as one observer recently put it, “women can be sexist, too.”
But there’s a reason more women run for elected office as Democrats than Republicans, and why more women have been steadily shifting away from the Republican party.
Generally speaking, the GOP’s agenda, which has morphed into Trump’s agenda, is anti-women.
And come November 5, women voters will make it clear they’re anti-Trump.