Donald Trump’s Women Voter Problem is Getting Worse

CollegeUnified By CollegeUnified 4 Min Read

With seven months until November’s presidential election, polls show that Donald Trump and Joe Biden are neck-and-neck in the race for the White House. However, Trump’s standing with women may be hampering his chances at success. Polls show that the proportion of women who plan to vote for Trump in November is less than the proportion who voted for him in the 2020 election.

In 2020, Trump’s vote share among women improved from 2016, rising from 39% to 44% while Biden won 55% of the vote. However, according to a January Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters, 58% of women now back Biden while 36% back Trump. In December, the same polling company found the gap was 53% to 41%, showing Trump’s support among women is declining. An April poll by The New York Times and Siena College also gave Biden a 16-point lead over Trump among women, with 53% of the vote share to Trump’s 37%.

The gender divide in American politics is widening, with men becoming increasingly conservative and women leaning liberal. Heath Brown, an associate professor of public policy at City University of New York, said the political gender gap “will grow in the future” in part because of the abortion debate currently gripping America. In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1973 court decision that granted a women’s right to a medical abortion. Since then, a number of states have enacted near-total bans on abortion.

In April, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the state must abide by the 1864 law that makes abortion punishable by between two and five years in prison. Trump said he believes abortion limits should be left to the states and said he was proud of the overturning of Roe V. Wade. His statement triggered a backlash from anti-abortion groups and polls have suggested abortion remains a challenging issue for Republicans.

Mark Shanahan, an associate professor in politics at the University of Surrey in the U.K., said Trump had an “aggressive, macho and somewhat whiny style” which puts female voters off him. He said Trump’s aggressive, macho and somewhat whiny style appears to be working even less well in attracting female voters outside the MAGA core this time.

There are more than a dozen women who have accused Trump of sexual assault, which he denies. His enabling of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, his boorish Alpha male characterization in the media, and his recent court appearances in both the E. Jean Carroll and Stormy Daniels cases do little to win over younger, more centrist or minority women—and the older end of his MAGA 2016 support is dying off.

Thomas Whalen, an associate professor who teaches U.S. politics at Boston University, agreed that the abortion debate has contributed to women’s views on Trump. “Trump has always had a women problem,” he told Newsweek. “What’s changed is that the Dobbs decision has made women’s reproduction rights an even more prominent issue than it was. Despite his best attempts to muddle the issue, Trump can’t escape his full-throated past endorsement of those forces looking to deny a woman’s right to choose.