From the start Hillary Clinton believed to the bottom of her soul (assuming the existence of same) that she had the female vote locked down. However, when you look at national polls, women across the country are apparently having second thoughts about automatically supporting this scandal-ridden 2016 presidential candidate.
Conservative women took issue early on with Clinton’s apparent main reason why women should vote for her — uh, because she IS a woman (or perhaps it’s more culturally correct to say “born that way”). Now it seems even Democrat women aren’t feeling so cozy with that either.
As the Daily Beast reports, “the Clinton campaign went into overdrive this week to shore up support among voters most assumed would have been locked in as Clinton backers from the start—Democratic women.
From last Saturday’s kickoff of “New Hampshire Women for Hillary,” to Clinton’s appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show last Thursday where she pitched, “If you vote for somebody on the merits, one of my merits is that I’m a woman,” to an online campaign store newly stocked with lady-friendly merch (official “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” tote, anyone?) the not-at-all subtle message is this: Hey ladies, vote for Hillary!
Clinton’s appeal among Democratic women has been steadily shrinking in the wake of Servergate. Even though Clinton is still nonchalant about the issue, more and more women are simply finding her non-trustworthy. With each passing day, as more
dirt facts arise about the server, so too do more questions (Hello, Huma?) Now that even Clinton’s own server company is saying the server wasn’t wiped clean, but rather emails were simply erased, people are really wondering what the heck is going on.
Add to that the growing thorn in Clinton’s side named Bernie Sanders. Early on Sanders was all but ignored by the Clinton camp and was thought to pose no real threat. But that’s quickly changing too.
Last week the NBC News/Marist poll showed Sanders leading Clinton by nine points in New Hampshire and gaining in Iowa as well. This is most likely due to major drops in Clinton’s support from women. Though Clinton still leads with women in Iowa, her support is down by 24 points since July. Ouch!
“I think there is concern on her campaign about the gender gap, which has gotten significantly narrower since our poll in July,” said Lee Mirengoff, the director of the Marist poll. “The campaign seems to understand that although they have a firewall they are trying to build in the South, women are really what this campaign’s strongest base is and they don’t want any slippage there.”
The slide among Democratic women in New Hampshire and Iowa mirrors a series of national polls that show Clinton’s performance among women on a steady downward trend. A CNN / ORC poll conducted in December of 2014 (PDF) showed that Clinton entered the Democratic primary contest with an enormous advantage among women over any opponent, with 75 percent saying they’d vote for Clinton and just 2 percent for Sanders.
Over the summer, Sanders has consistently rallied thousands at campaign events to spread his (avowedly socialist) message – disturbances from Black Lives Matter activists notwithstanding. But during this same time, Clinton has had to duck and dodge questions from the media about her email server, Benghazi, and the Clinton Foundation. All of these issues combined have led to a 51 percent drop in support for Clinton nationwide among women Democrats. Sanders is up 27 percent.
The fact is, women simply don’t think the former Secretary of State is telling the truth. According to a Fox News poll, 51 percent of female voters said Clinton “knowingly lied” about her private server. Even in a poll from CNN in August, 51 percent of women said Clinton did something wrong when she took control of her own email with an unsecured private server.
When Barack Obama ran in 2008 he garnered 56 percent of women voters. Clinton already knows the majority of her voters would be women. Because her numbers with men are never going to be that great, she will need 58 to 60 percent of her votes to come from women. As it stands, she’s nowhere near that.
It seems that Clinton is now fighting an uphill battle even among her core. Even if Clinton does win the Democratic nomination, there’s still a problem her camp sees. It may not be that women decide to vote Republican. It may be that women just decide not to vote at all.
[Note: This article was written by Earl Hall]