Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton has based much of her campaign on the fact that she could be the first female President. Much of her perceived strength is built, in fact, on the unique draw her candidacy could have for female voters, and their importance in Democrats’ winning coalitions.
A new Fox poll, however, shows that, among women voters, Vice President Joe Biden would do better with females against a Republican candidate than Hillary Clinton.
A Hillary Clinton candidacy may actually hurt Democrats’ chances with female voters. Without a large margin of female support, Democrats have a difficult road to the White House.
Given the turmoil surrounding Hillary’s campaign, a great deal of her weakness with female voters is a reflection of her overall weakness in the general election. It is notable, though, that those voters who would most likely respond to the historic nature of her candidacy are unmoved in light of the controversies surrounding Clinton.
Hillary Clinton is very weak in a general election match-up. In the new Fox poll, she loses to every potential Republican candidate. She trails Trump by 5 points, Ben Carson by 11 points, Jeb Bush by 4 points and Carly Fiorina by 3 points.
Joe Biden narrowly defeats all of the potential Republican candidates, although only against Trump is his margin outside the poll’s margin of error.
More interesting, however, is how poorly Hillary Clinton does with female voters against the Republicans. She leads Trump among women by just 9 points, substantially less than Trump’s 20 point lead among men.
Against Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina, Clinton leads by just 7 points among women. Against Ben Carson, Hillary is essentially tied among female voters, edging the retired neurosurgeon by just 1 point, 45-44.
By comparison, Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by 11 points among women. Among males, Romney beat Obama by 7 points. Hillary, however, is losing male voters by double-digit margins against all Republicans.
Joe Biden leads all Republicans among female voters by double-digit margins. His narrowest margin among women is against Bush, whom he leads by 11 points. Among women, he leads Carson by 12, Fiorina by 14 and Trump by a massive 26 points. Biden does almost three times better against Trump with women than Hillary Clinton does.
This is not in the Democrat script for the general election. Hillary Clinton, in fact, could be the first Democrat candidate in recent memory who has to actively campaign for the female vote.
The problem for female voters seems to be Hillary herself. Almost half of women, 44 percent, believe Hillary is “less ethical” than most other politicians. That quality, or lack of it, seems to guide their votes more than a candidate’s gender.