Naturally the thing to do in such situations is to go all-in on the guy who’s been accused of child molestation.
Eh, what would Ronna McDaniel know about politics. She’s a — *shiver* — Romney.
A few weeks before Alabama’s special Senate election, President Donald Trump’s handpicked Republican National Committee leader, Ronna Romney McDaniel, delivered a two-page memo to White House chief of staff John Kelly outlining the party’s collapse with female voters.
The warning, several people close to the chairwoman said, reflected deepening anxiety that a full-throated Trump endorsement of accused child molester Roy Moore in the special election — which the president was edging closer to at the time — would further damage the party’s standing with women. McDaniel’s memo, which detailed the president’s poor approval numbers among women nationally and in several states, would go unheeded, as Trump eventually went all-in for the ultimately unsuccessful Republican candidate.
It’s cute of the RNC to play prophet now when they crawled back into Alabama on Moore’s behalf at Trump’s urging after initially pulling out. You’re a pillar of strength, McDaniel.
Any reason to think she’s right? Well, the generic ballot *has* somehow gotten more gruesome for the GOP lately when it didn’t seem possible it could get worse.The day before the Alabama election Republicans trailed by an average of 8.3 points, which is really bad, easily midterm wave material. Eleven days later they trail by, ah, 13 points, which is cyanide-capsule territory. My guess was that it was the impending passage of the tax bill, which has polled poorly, that was driving the recent Democratic gains. But maybe not. Maybe it was the repulsive spectacle of the president and most of his party lining up behind someone who may or may not have been banned from the local mall in the late 1970s for creeping on high-school girls.
Note the gender split in this Quinnipiac poll from November, taken during a period when the first WaPo story on Moore broke…
…and compare it to the split in this new one from a few days ago:
Republicans have actually gained support among men over the past month. But they’ve still lost ground on the generic ballot overall because they’re getting killed among women, sliding from net -23 to net -31 in the span of a few weeks.
The decline in Trump’s job rating has come much more from women – currently 24% approve to 68% disapprove – than from men – currently 40% to 44%. In September, Trump had a 36%-55% rating among women and a 44%-42% rating among men.
The gender gap in the president’s rating crosses party lines. Republican women (67%) are somewhat less likely than Republican men (78%) to give Trump a positive rating. These results are down by 9 points among GOP women since September and by 5 points among GOP men since the fall. The biggest drop has occurred among independent women – just 14% currently approve of Trump’s job performance, which is down by 25 points since September.
It’s hard to pinpoint any single cause like the Alabama election for a trend that developed between September and December but the numbers speak for themselves. Trump’s lost a third of his support among women voters generally and around two-thirds(!) of his support among women independents in three months. And the generic ballot? Monmouth has the GOP leading by five among men and trailing among women by, no typo, 35 points, producing an overall Democratic lead of 15. The nightmare CNN poll that dropped a few days ago showing Democrats up 18 points — 18 points — on the generic ballot had starkly different numbers for men but not so different for women. CNN has Democrats ahead by seven with men and by 28 with women.
Any way you slice it, there’s good reason to believe from the public polling that McDaniel and the RNC are right, that women voters are going to gut the GOP like a fish in the fall if something doesn’t change. Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight looked back in the history books to see if he could find any midterm poll at this stage showing a worse drubbing than the 18-point advantage for Democrats that CNN just reported. He couldn’t find one. The last time the generic ballot *average* was as bad for the majority party as it is now was 1938, a year when Republicans picked up seven seats in the Senate and a cool 81 seats in the House. Politico reported today that Mitch McConnell is privately telling people that losing both chambers of Congress is increasingly possible while Paul Ryan’s worried that as the tea leaves turn more ominous a raft of House Republicans will decide to retire this winter, making the party’s problem that much worse. This is what happens when a political party turns into a sausage party.
Oh well. Trump is reportedly looking at bringing some old hands from his campaign back into the White House next year as current staffers depart. Surely this woman problem is nothing that Corey Lewandowski can’t solve. In lieu of an exit question, and on a more serious note, watch this clip from CBS enlightening some voters as to how much more of their pay to stand to keep under the new GOP tax bill. If anything’s going to break the blue wave, it’s this.
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) December 22, 2017