David Rutz is right. It’s amazing that Team Hillary hasn’t managed to uncork a single ad aimed at women so far that’s as slick as this one is. And yet Clinton’s the pro and Fiorina’s the newbie, or so we’re told. Still, I had to watch this twice to make sure: Did Fiorina’s PAC really drop a new ad aimed at rallying women that neglects to mention she was the first woman CEO of a top 20 company? That’s no minor detail, especially in the context of Trump’s “look at that face” insult. He was dismissing one of the most successful women in the history of American business with a crack about her looks. If you’re going to put out a clip that’s destined to enjoy extra media attention thanks to the Trump angle, take the opportunity to introduce yourself to undecideds.
Will the sisterhood angle work for Fiorina? Anecdotally, maybe. Fallout in Iowa from Trump’s “face” dig:
Sawyer said she and her husband had been telling each other that as soon as Trump came anywhere near their town, they’d go see him to witness “the energy and positive message.”
“Now, no interest,” Sawyer said. “It was the Carly Fiorina comment. Not that it was that horrible, because he’s said other more horrible things, but I was like, ‘OK, this is third-grade.’ His social skills are just not presidential.”…
Several Republican women who participated in the Aug. 23-27 Iowa Poll who were considering voting for Trump in the Feb. 1 caucuses have now changed their minds, they told a Register reporter who checked in with them again last week…
“We are well past the days where you can be disrespectful of women and just call it a joke,” Horn told the Register. “These are not the comments of a strong candidate. These are the comments of a weak candidate.”
It’ll be hard to measure the impact of the “face” episode in polls because this week’s debate will almost certainly supersede whatever effect the Trump/Fiorina dust-up is having on voters. If Fiorina does well on Wednesday night and ends up conspicuously higher in next week’s surveys, her bounce will be attributed to that, not to a backlash to a Trump.
What we can measure right now, though, is how well she’s done so far with women voters as the only woman candidate in this very big field. Is Fiorina drawing extra support from Republican women because of her gender and her trailblazing rise in corporate America? Answer: Nope, not so far. In today’s new ABC/WaPo poll, she’s the choice of two percent of men and three percent of women. In CNN’s poll taken last week, she scored at three percent among both sexes. She did a bit better in the Quinnipiac poll published Friday but still with virtually no gender gap in the results, with five percent of men and six percent of women supporting her. She did have the third-highest favorable rating among women at 61 percent (only Ben Carson and Marco Rubio were higher), but on individual questions about leadership and character, men were more positive about Fiorina than women were. On whether she has the right type of temperament and personality to handle an international crisis, 63 percent of men said yes versus 56 percent of women. On whether Fiorina has strong leadership qualities or not, 70 percent of men said yes compared to 63 percent of women. Honest and trustworthy? 67 percent of men say so of Fiorina while just 62 percent of women do. Only on the question of whether she cares about the problems of people like you does she score higher with women than men, with 67 percent of the former saying so versus 63 percent of the latter. If she’s hoping to consolidate Republican women while Republican men split every which way among the rest of the field, there’s a lot of work to be done.
Interestingly, there’s only one candidate in the field per Quinnipiac whose favorable rating is higher with women than it is with men. It’s not Fiorina. It’s … Jeb Bush, who’s at 38/54(!) with men and 44/41 with women. No wonder Trump keeps dogging him as a beta male.