Back in 2016, a real estate tycoon with no political experience shocked the world by beating the experienced Hillary Clinton who was vying to become the first woman elected president of the United States.
How did Donald Trump accomplish this?
Largely in part because the majority of white women voted for him. According to the New York Times, more than half of white women voted for Donald Trump four years ago with 62 per cent of white women without college degrees getting behind him.
This despite Trump being caught on a hot mike disparaging women, saying when you are a star you can do anything to them.
On the Access Hollywood tape released days before the 2016 election, Trump can be heard speaking about actress and model Arianne Zucker, saying: “I better use Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
One would have thought that women would have roundly condemn this and turn away from Trump in droves – they didn’t, instead they turned to him.
Tamara Burke’s MeToo movement, which began a decade earlier, was picking up a head of steam around this time with feminism making distinct strides. All this had no impact- white women did not get behind the prospect of having the first woman president, the ultimate goal for the movement.
Some say women just didn’t warm to Hillary Clinton, despite her impressive track record. Others say women took Trump at his word that it was all just locker room talk.
Nevertheless white women in every demographic gave the majority of their vote to Trump. Will they do the same on November 3?
Over the last four years many have complained that there have been instances where Trump’s behaviour has been lewd and inappropriate but that hasn’t appeared to have significantly subtracted from his support.
“Jesus Moya, a psychologist from Valencia believes American women despite what they say respond positively to alpha males and President Trump projects that.
“In assessing how women will vote this time you, have to get behind what women say and how they feel. To many Trump is not the inconsiderate, insensitive, misogynist ogre that he is portrayed to be. Women respond favourably to him.”
But with a second wave of COVID-19 infections gripping the country and families facing uncertain futures will they again give him the nod?
President Trump is banking on them doing so again, specifically targeting white women this time. He has repeatedly said that a Biden administration will mean that American suburbs will be overrun by lawlessness, cheap housing and unsavoury characters that pose a threat to the safety and well being of women. White women may think he is right and turn out for him at the ballot box to avoid that scenario.
What is undeniable is that many working-class white women have formed a major constituency of Trump’s base and they cannot be dissuaded.
Some are quick to call the racist card in explaining this but many of these women feel they have been ignored for so long as their families’ livelihoods and fortunes dwindle. They yearn for yesteryear when they could count on a brighter tomorrow.
There are those commentators and political observers who argue that many women gave Trump a shot because he was not the typical politician and found his candour freshing. Four years later do they feel the same?
The importance of the female vote cannot be understated. Women have outvoted men in every American election since Ronald Reagan got elected back in 1980.
In a recent Washington Post poll, 62 per cent of women said they will vote for Joe Biden while 34 per cent will go for President Trump.
American businessman Robert T. Kiyosaki once said, “Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow,” and the questions for these women are does President Trump’s rhetoric and actions truly concern them? Will they make America truly great in every way? How importance is civil political discourse to them?
On the campaign trail, President Trump said: “You know what women want more than anything else? Safety and security and they want to be able to have their houses.”
We are about to find out.