The Republican Party has always struggled to attract woman voters, but the triumph of admitted rapist Donald Trump and the party's backing of child-molester Roy Moore, the Dominionist misogyny of Mike Pence, and the painfully obvious hatred of women from the Grand Old Patriarchs has galvanized opposition to the Republicans from women who historically voted without much thought about gender issues: independents, reluctant Democrats, college-educated affluent white women, and other women whom the GOP relied on for votes, or at least indifference.
It's looking bad for the upcoming elections, and getting worse. What's more, top GOP strategists who've spent years cultivating the woman vote admit that they have no idea what to do about it.
"I think what's going to hurt Republicans with women, and what we saw happen with Virginia, has something to do with sexual harassment and has a lot to do with the white-supremacist issue and has a lot to do with basic tone and tenor of politics these days that people are recoiling at and laying at Trump's feet," said Beeson.
Beeson pointed to Steve Bannon's championing of the alt-right and the allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. "There does appear to be some group of Republicans who take the attitude of whatever it takes to elect Republicans and stop Democrats will do, even if that means supporting a pederast or a white supremacist," fumed Beeson. "Things like that are causing the party to be redefined in way not only igniting the opposition but really depressing parts of our base that used to be reliably Republican—suburban, business-minded Republicans who are in it less for culture wars and more for the tax cuts."
The damage could well outlast Trump, she asserted. "If there is this sense that Republicans are defined by people like Roy Moore and that the Fox News crowd is willing to tolerate anything in order to win and will not call out bad actors, then the kinds of suburban independent women we've needed in the past to win elections will start recoiling more and more at all of it and start galvanizing and coming out to vote."
Mary Bono put it more simply. "Character used to matter. Now we're not that party."
Women Exit the Party of Trump [Michelle Cotte/The Atlantic]
(via Naked Capitalism)