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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Stormy, Summer and Karen are the GOP's worst nightmares

by digby

Greg Sargent had a good piece this morning about how the Stormy Daniels hurricane might trip Trump up more than he realizes. It's a thought I've had as well:

In addition to legal efforts from McDougal and Daniels that might enable them to speak out about their relations with Trump, he is being sued for defamation by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” who claims Trump kissed and groped her without her consent, and a judge ruled this week that this suit can proceed. As CNN’s Collinson points out, this means Trump may be facing a period of pretrial discovery and possibly a deposition, which “could put Trump in a perilous position.”

That, plus the prospect of Daniels and McDougal speaking out about Trump, means more public attention to Trump’s treatment of women. Noted Collinson: “Judging by vigorous attempts his lawyers have made to squelch the cases against him, there is considerable concern in Trump’s camp that the thickening legal jungle ensnaring him could come with a high political or legal cost.”

The evidence is mounting on many fronts that the energy, organizing and engagement among female voters — manifested in everything from the initial Women’s March through the #MeToo movement through recent Democratic electoral wins — constitute the cardinal factor in our politics right now. And it seems clear that female alienation from Trump is at the center of it.

Just consider this week’s Quinnipiac University poll, which had relatively good news for Trump. It also found that a staggering 62 percent of women disapprove of his performance, 55 percent strongly. And 55 percent of white women (a majority of whom backed Trump) disapprove, 48 percent strongly. Women want a Democratic House by 56-36. Even white women — a GOP-leaning constituency — favor a Democratic House by 48-44. Separately, new Pew Research Center data shows that among women, identification with the Democratic Party is rising.

Anecdotal evidence and fieldwork have shown that the anti-Trump backlash is heavily driven by mothers and grandmothers who are channeling their anger at Trump into organizing designed to reinvigorate our politics from the grass roots up in communities across the country. And a great deal has been written about how the Democratic victories in places such as Virginia, Alabama and Pennsylvania are being fueled by suburban and college-educated white voters, mostly women.

But Trump’s struggles among female voters may also be chipping away at the foundations of his blue-collar white coalition. As Ron Brownstein recently showed, Trump may even be losing substantial ground among non-college-educated white women, who originally backed Trump in big numbers. This is even happening in the Rust Belt, which could help put some House seats in play outside of the more educated and suburban districts that constitute the low-hanging fruit for Democrats.

In short, Trump’s travails among women may be deepening the gender divide in our politics while eroding the ways in which the class divide — among white voters, at least — had been providing the bedrock of his support.

It's impossible to know for sure whether women as a group will rise to the occasion. The special elections around the country last year and so far this year indicate that there is a lot of energy among African American women as always (they form the backbone of the party) but as Greg points out, among those suburban college educated white women as well. Polling is showing significant slippage among the white working class women and especially among millennial women who are flocking to the Democratic party and 70% (while millennial men, unfortunately, are lagging behind.)

Let's just say that a lot of women find Donald Trump and his behavior to be deplorable and leave it at that. Every day that we hear about his treatment of women whether assaulting them or paying them off to keep them silent, is a bad day for Trump's relationship with half the population. And that's going to spell trouble for all his enablers and sycophants running for re-election in the fall.