GOP women get all the wrong messages

Really interesting comments in Politico's Women Rule newsletter today.

Republican pollster Christine Matthews tells Politico's Elizabeth Ralph that conservative women are dumping Trump en masse:

College educated women are gone, gone, gone from him, just gone. Suburban women, I would argue, are gone, gone, gone… And what’s really dire for him is with non-college educated women. So they voted for him by a large margin in 2016, and they’re starting to sort of abandon ship. He can’t have that and still win some of these upper Midwestern states…

The problem is that women are hearing all the wrong messages from Republican men...

Trump is making this party sort of a competition for who can be more masculine or more tough… So the rhetoric that’s coming out of the Republican Party is designed to appeal primarily to a male audience, non-college-educated men in particular. I think that’s one of the reasons we’re seeing the gap. Also, health care. The issue of health care is very, very important to women. And the Democrats talk about it a lot more than Republicans do.

Matthews - who worked on Republican Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan's campaign - says Trumpism will set the tone for many years:

I don’t think [the GOP] is going to reinvent itself in the next four to six years. I think Trumpism is probably going to be the defining feature still.”

I have a 20-year-old daughter, and it is honestly unfathomable to her to be a Republican... And if you look at the party I.D. trends for Gen Z and millennials, the Republicans are on track to basically have no women.

So what do Republicans need to change to bring women back?

If the Republican Party can once again respect science, respect experts, respect women, embrace diversity, entrepreneurship… then maybe there’s hope for the pipeline beyond [millennials].

The problem of course is the thinking, not the messaging. And that's harder to fix. But until the words matter, we can't expect any substantive changes.


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