Trump has a challenge with white women: "You just want to smack him"

Trump’s troubles were evident here in Nashua, a commuter exurb of Boston, where six women in a knitting circle were lounging on the couches and armchairs of a yarn shop the other day talking about — what else? — Trump. They were Republicans, Democrats and independents, all of them moms — and all of them ready to give him a permanent timeout.

“You just want to smack him,” said Pam Harrison, 56, who voted for Republican Mitt Romney four years ago.

Watching Trump debate reminded Kristen Schwartz, 40, of dinner-table conversations with her in-laws: “It’s not polite to interrupt people, but if you stop to breathe or think about your point, they just talk over you and the conversation just gets louder and louder and louder.”

In an unnerving campaign season, what keeps their anxieties in check is the belief of Sandy Zielie, 46, the shop’s owner: “Women are going to save this country this election.”

Female voters may not save the country in the way the knitters of Nashua would like, but they almost certainly will swing the election. Clinton and Trump are targeting many intersecting groups and subgroups of swing voters, but strategists for both campaigns said white women with college degrees are at the top of their lists.