While the LA Times/USC Dornsife daily tracking poll shows Hillary Clinton has a double-digit lead among women, at the same time Trump has an equally formidable lead among men.
This sends a clear signal to Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, that to prevail in November Trump does not need to win the female vote per se, just not lose it as much as Clinton loses the male vote.
Since early July Trump has maintained a nearly perfect double digit lead among male voters. That is significant because white working class males which make up his base is crucial to his campaign. The Hill’s Alexander Bolton on Aug. 4 explained that the working male electoral vote wins in states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, battleground states which were formally blue in the past few cycles.
However, his clear lead among men does not mean Trump can neglect the female vote, instead it indicates exactly how much of it he must garner. Fortunately for Trump, Conway is both a female and a qualified strategist that could lead Trump toward tightening the gap with Hillary among women. The Guardian’s Lucia Graves on Aug. 22 noted that Conway ensures that Trump will “stay true to himself but in a winning way.”
That is, by providing him with the ability to both continue the male support he has received for his direct and aggressive eagerness to maintain jobs, and improve his likeability among women. Conway’s management and targeted messaging suddenly becomes integral to winning the election for Trump by nurturing strengths and neutralizing weaknesses.
Trump has been shamelessly attacked for being against women, as the Huffington Post’s Laura Bassett writes in an article, “Is Trump Trying to Lose the Women’s Vote?” While Hillary becomes this supposed beacon for the left on gender equality, Trump is often portrayed as offensively misogynistic.
But that may not matter. Trump does not need to win over every female, as noted above, but to answer the Huffington Posts question, the reason he has tapped Conway is to ensure he does not lose any more women.
Earlier in her career, Conway trained under Ronald Reagan’s pollsters and as the Washington Post reported on Aug. 17, “She built much of her nearly three-decade career around a persistently difficult task: helping conservative men win over female voters… She became a senior adviser to Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on July 1. Now she’s co-steering the whole ship.
With a consistent double-digit lead among men nationally, Trump can secure his working class men in key battle ground states and ignite a voter base. And if he continues to at least marginally decrease the gap between himself and Clinton on women, Trump could actually win the election.
Conway has already served to assist Trump by consolidating in female support for the Republican nominee. She helped stop the bleeding. As one of the key points against Trump according to the aforementioned Huffington Post has been his language toward women, Conway has smartly defended the working relationship between herself and Trump as being respectful with open communication.
In 2012, Mitt Romney lost the female vote by 14 points but only won the male vote by 6 points, according to Gallup, leading to his defeat. Currently, the Los Angeles Times poll has both candidates ahead with their respective genders by about 12 points. With Conway leading a change in the campaign’s tone, Trump can turn 2012’s result on its head, solidifying the numbers to win the election.
Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at American for Limited Government.