PHILADELPHIA: President Donald Trump’s campaign on Tuesday kicks off its efforts to woo women voters, banking that a strong economic message will energize a voting bloc that has been largely critical of his presidency.
Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, will launch "Women for Trump," a coalition dedicated to recruiting and activating women in support of the Republican president`s re-election in November 2020. The event is being held in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, an upscale community in Philadelphia`s northern suburbs - just the sort of place Trump needs to win to return to the White House for another four-year term. Suburban women played a key role in ushering in a Democratic wave of victories in U.S. House of Representatives races in the 2018 congressional elections, robbing Republicans of their majority and delivering a rebuke of Trump.
In Pennsylvania, Democrats won nine congressional seats, the same amount as Republicans, who held a 13-5 advantage before the elections. According to the Reuters/Ipsos 2018 Election Day poll, 56% of suburban women voters in Pennsylvania disapproved of Trump’s handling of the country, with 40% saying they approved. “Trump is going to have to figure out a way to cut down on the margins Democrats have in the suburbs if he wants a chance to go back to the White House,” said G. Terry Madonna, a political science professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania.
"Women for Trump" organizers are expected to tout the president`s handling of the economy, noting the unemployment rate among women recently reached its lowest point since 1953 and that 57% of the 5.6 million jobs added since Trump has become president have gone to women. “That kind of success has produced grassroots support for President Trump, and women are a key component of that support," campaign spokeswoman Sarah Matthews said in an email.
In the 2016 presidential election, women favoured Democrat Hillary Clinton, the first woman nominated for president by a major party, by roughly a 12-point margin over Trump. But white women as a group came out for Trump by nearly the same margin, exit polls showed. Six women are among the more than 20 Democrats vying for the party`s nomination to compete against Trump in 2020.
The latest polls show men tend to have a more favourable view of the Trump presidency, although not overwhelmingly so. In a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted earlier this month, 26% of women said the country was on the right track, compared with 33% of men. In the same poll, 36% of woman said they either somewhat or strongly approved of Trump’s handling of the presidency, compared with 43% of men.