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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

 
Wavering women in Real America

by digby















You wouldn't know it from this year's election reporting  but there are tens of millions of women who are voting enthusiastically for Hillary Clinton because of her stand on the issues and the fact that she's going to be the first woman president which is a meaningful milestone to them. Very few people have bothered to profile them or look into what they're thinking. (There's so little time for that what with the need to focus, as we do in every election, on the much more important angry white males who are voting Republican.) These women are the invisible people in this election just like they are often the invisible people in this world.  But whatever, they are working to get her elected and they will vote and then go back to doing whatever it is they do that nobody gives a shit about.

Meanwhile, it's making the difference in places where Trump is supposed to be the strongest:
Vigo County [Indiana] is as good a bellwether as any place in America. It’s voted for the winning presidential candidate all but two times the past 128 years, and hasn’t missed since 1952, choosing neighboring Illinois’ Adlai Stevenson over Dwight Eisenhower—and even then it missed by a margin of only .07 percent. And signs are, in 2016, Vigo, situated in the home state of his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, is firmly in the Trump column.

But on this day inside Pizza City, as members of a France 2 television crew hovered boom mics over the proceedings, Trump’s Indiana team wasn't playing offense, but defense. A dour mood filled the air. Only days before, video had surfaced of their candidate bragging about his prowess in assaulting women, and the subject had overtaken the matter of early voting as the topic of conversation. Polls weren’t looking as rosy as they once had, either. In August, Trump led Hillary Clinton in Indiana by 11 points. But only a week or so before today’s visit, a WTHR/Howey Politics poll in the field from October 3 through October 5 had Trump up with only a 5-point margin in Pence’s own backyard, 43 percent to 38 percent. Meanwhile, a Monmouth University poll released a few days later would show Clinton trailing Trump here by a margin of 4 points.

All was not well in Importantville, as Trump himself had dubbed the state during Indiana’s decisive primary. As political gossip around Terre Haute had it, Trump’s comments about women had caused a surge of female voters registering in the waning hours before early voting began. Could Trump lose Vigo County? And if he did, that could mean, well, he couldn’t lose here, could he? That was the question that hung in the air, in the background of the political chatter that could be heard on sidewalks and in libraries and the town’s bars during the time I spent in the county last week.

And then there was this bit of data: At a drive-through voter registration event at the Vigo County Courthouse the day before, about 150 voters registered. I spoke to one volunteer who worked the event, and she told me that 90 percent of them were women who planned to vote for Clinton.
The whole piece is interesting, showing how the air has gone out of the Trump Balloon generally. And not all women are coming around. Like this one:

Lisa Reed, 58, a landlord, said she wasn’t bothered by Trump’s comments, especially compared to the specter of a Clinton presidency. “She’s for everybody else but my gender and my race,” she said. But she admitted that if a man said to her what Trump had said about women, she wouldn’t take it sitting down. “I got a gun. I’ll shoot your ass.” Even Trump? “Even Trump,” she said.

“And if Trump is president, you’ll still have your gun,” Jaworowski interjected.

People nodded.

Afterward, Reed told me that she wasn’t against the idea of a female president. “I’d love to see a woman president—I’d just like it to be a real woman,” she said. Did she think Hillary Clinton was not a real woman? “If you can’t satisfy a man enough to keep him home, than you are not a real woman. I always thought the best female president would have been Condi Rice,” she said, apparently unaware that, days earlier, in the wake of the Access Hollywood video leak, the former secretary of state had called for Trump to withdraw. (“Enough! Donald Trump should not be President,” Rice posted on Facebook.)

But this too:

Women for Trump aside, though, rank-and-file female voters with whom I spoke across town seemed generally turned off by Trump.

The night before the gathering at Pizza City, at a League of Women Voters candidate forum, I could find only one female Trump supporter. “I’ve worked with a lot of men, and I realize how men are,” Laura Wilkey, 65, told me. “It’s crude language, but he wasn’t in mixed company.” (At another forum later in the week, the BBC broadcast a debate between Trump’s Indiana team and two Clinton supporters from a local watering hole. Clinton’s side of the room at the forum sat substantially more women than Trump’s side did.)

“This election is insane,” Sue Bentrup, an 80-year-old retired nurse who planned to vote for Clinton, told me. “I feel sorry for the Abraham Lincoln Republicans. I’m nervous.”

Personally, I don't think it's the "pussy" video itself that caused it. It's the accumulation of all of it. And it's always possible that a few of these women, ridiculous as it obviously is, might even think Clinton will make a pretty good president.

.