Female backers try to sell Trump’s message


Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa

President Donald Trump’s campaign is rallying and training a corps of female defenders, mindful that Trump’s shaky standing with women could sink his hopes of re-election next year.

Female surrogates and supporters fanned out across important battlegrounds Thursday in a high-profile push to make the president’s case on the economy and to train campaign volunteers.

Organizers said they believe female backers are often uncomfortable acknowledging they support Trump.

“We want to empower women with other women to be able to share the message of success of this president, to share their success under this president,” said Trump campaign spokeswoman Erin Perrine, who will be leading one of the events in Raleigh, N.C.

The move is a recognition of the president’s persistent deficit with women. Over the course of his presidency and across public opinion polls, women have been consistently less supportive of Trump than men.

Suburban women in particular rejected Republicans in the 2018 midterm by margins that set off alarms for the party and the president.

The most recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found just 30 percent of women approve of the way the president is doing his job, compared with 42 percent of men.

Notably, there was no gap between Republican men and women – 80 percent of both groups said they approved of his job performance in the August poll.

Much of the campaign’s appeal to women has so far focused on highlighting economic gains since Trump’s election in 2016, a message that is especially vulnerable to a slowdown. That includes frequently pointing to the jobless rate for women, which fell to 3.4 percent in April – the lowest since 1953, even though it has since crept up to 3.7 percent.

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