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Women hold key vote in US election but have little love for either candidate

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By Robert Hackwill
Women hold key vote in US election but have little love for either candidate

Women will matter in the US presidential election. They are the largest voting group in the electorate in terms of people registered to vote, and as they have a female candidate to vote for for the very first time, then you might think they are dying to see Hillary Clinton make history. Well, many are not; indeed some are appalled at the idea.

“She is a very polarizing figure. There are Democrats that are absolutely enamored by her and love the idea of her in office. And there are Republicans who can’t think of a worse candidate and a worse president. So I think some of the enthusiasm that would ordinarily be behind making history is clouded by the fact that she is such a controversial figure,” says the Director of Women & Politics Institute at the American University, Washington, Jennifer Lawless.

However the Republican candidate Donald Trump comes over as an unapologetic sexist with an appeal rooted in unreconstructed macho. He has been unafraid to attack individual women who have displeased him in the most vulgar terms, and women in general by attacking equal pay and abortion legislation.

“I think he needs to figure out how to counter the narrative that he is sexist. The record is out there, some of the comments he has made about women in the past, in the recent past, as a matter of fact. One thing is that he hasn’t been very specific about what he would do with regard to issues that are important to women,” says the Washington Post’s Vanessa Williams.

Both candidates are the most unpopular in US political history, hugely divisive both within their parties and the country in general. Currently Trump has a double-digit lead
among male voters while Clinton enjoys the same margin among women.

“The reason why there is not more enthusiasm among women about a first female president is: Hillary Clinton. For many, she just represents the past, not the future. Yet, for most women, Clinton is still the far better choice over Donald Trump,” reports euronews’ Stefan Grobe.