Poll Shows Trump Has Large Favorability Gap With Women

May 27, 2020 by Gaspard Le Dem
President Donald Trump and First lady Melania Trump return to the White House after attending a Memorial Day ceremony at Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine in Baltimore, MD. (Chris Kleponis/Pool/Abaca Press/TNS)

New polling shows that a majority of female Trump supporters in 2016 who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic would vote for him again, however, 48% of women still hold a very unfavorable view of him as opposed to  31% very unfavorable for Biden. 

A majority of women who have lost jobs supported Trump in 2016 (50% compared to 42% who supported Clinton) and are likely to continue their support: 51% of still support Trump (compared to 44% for Biden). These women differ from the general voting population in that 43% think of themselves as Republicans, 36% identify as Democrats and 19% are independent (vs. 45% Democrat, 19% Independent, 29% Republican overall).

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor announced that more than 20 million people had lost their jobs in April, sending the U.S. unemployment rate soaring to 14.7%, a level not seen since the Great Depression. 

Data shows the majority of jobs lost during the pandemic — around 60% — were held by women. 

But while some forecasters say that high unemployment rates could hurt Trump’s chances of getting re-elected, the AIT survey suggests that the president has avoided a backlash so far.

The poll, which surveyed 1,000 registered women voters in early May, found that 51% of women who lost their jobs favor Trump, while just 44% say they’d vote for Biden. The majority of those women were Southern, suburban, and between 50 and 64 years of age.

But Trump’s advantage didn’t hold up among women who lost wages — not jobs — during the pandemic. Those women were far more likely to vote Democratic, with 53% favoring Biden and just 31% supporting Trump, according to the AIC poll, which was conducted in partnership with Emerson College and Lake Research Partners.

Additionally, women who lost wages during the crisis struggled more with work and family obligations, and had a higher likelihood of being Latina, middle-aged and living in urban areas.

Overall, women surveyed in the poll were highly motivated to vote in November, though their levels of commitment varied depending on factors like race and political affiliation. 

White women were most likely to cast a ballot this fall (88.5% compared to 82% overall) and Republican women were slightly more likely to vote than Democrats.

In the poll, Biden’s most steady voting block was among African-American women, with 83% saying they’d vote for him over Trump. Among those voters, roughly 9 in 10 said they’d strongly support Biden, confirming the strength of his base among African-American voters.

In contrast, 64% of white women and only 26% of Latina women said they would strongly support Biden.

The female vote was deeply fractured along racial lines in 2016, with 94% of black women and 68% of Latina women voting for Hillary Clinton, while 53% of all female voters picked Trump.

For several years, female voters have made up a larger share of the U.S. electorate than their male counterparts. In 2018, 53% of voters were women and 47% were men.

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