Trump Trails Romney, McCain with Women, Millennials

Campaign supporters wait to see Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump before a campaign rally at the Sharonville Convention Center July 6, 2016, in Cincinnati
John Sommers II/Getty Images

Presumptive 2016 Republican nominee Donald Trump is ahead of 2008 GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney with support from African Americans and Hispanic voters, but he’s lagging behind with both female voters and millennials.

In 2008 and 2012, 43 percent of female voters supported the Republican nominee, but in a head-to-head match up between Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, only 35 percent of female voters prefer Trump, according to a recent Pew Research survey.

Hogan Gidley, former communications director for Gov. Mike Huckabee, suggested that Trump needs to tout his track record with females he’s employed in order to increase his support from women.

“Trump has an amazing record of hiring women in the corporate world, putting them in important roles, and actually paying them as much as their male counterparts — unlike Hillary who talks about equal pay but doesn’t even pay women as much as men in her own senate office,” Gidley explained, comparing Trump to Clinton. “The campaign should highlight Mr. Trump’s record — which is one of all action, where Hillary’s is one of all talk.”

Matthew Beynon, who worked on both Sen. Rick Santorum’s 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns, agrees with Gidley pertaining to Trump’s business record with female executives.

“The Trump campaign has the Trump card to turn women against Hillary. He has validators like his daughter Ivanka and female executives that he gave an equal shot to in business. They are the ultimate surrogates to talk about how equal pay and equal opportunity are not just political speak, but realities that he has practiced in his life,” Beynon suggested.

Trump also needs to improve his numbers with millennial voters to catch up with Romney and McCain’s numbers from the two previous general elections.

The recent Pew Research results show only 30 percent of young voters back Trump. In 2012, 38 percent of millennial voters supported Romney and in 2008, 39 percent backed McCain.

“It’s all about jobs,” Gidley stated about how Trump can reach millennial voters. “Trump’s ability to create jobs and put Americans back to work again is a message that will appeal to millennials — who in many cases are graduating from college with a mountain of debt and no job to be found.”

Beynon said he would like to see Trump draw a clear contrast from Clinton because “everyone knows that Obama-Clinton policies have been a disaster for recent graduates.”

Student loan debt is through the roof, opportunities are non-existent for high school and college graduates, and even post-grads are having trouble finding work in their fields. But younger Americans need to know what Donald Trump will do to make their lives better. What opportunities will a Trump Administration open for them? He hasn’t addressed this yet with any clarity. But he has time and this is one area he now needs to begin to expand his message beyond the one that helped him win the Republican primary.

Gabrielle Jackson Bosché, author of The Millennial Entrepreneur: Side-hustlers, Startups and Disrupters Restarting America and an expert on millennials, believes Trump can capitalize on the number of millennial women who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) over Clinton during the Democratic primary election.

“Millennial women are having the hardest time getting ready for Hillary. Playing the woman card isn’t working for Hillary because she isn’t relatable. She tweets pictures of her family, and even compares herself to your abuela in a desperate attempt to be real. It’s not working,” Bosché explained.

Bernie Sanders wins the Millennial women vote with his perception of authenticity and honesty, 61 percent to Hillary’s 30 percent. Trump has a real opportunity to snag Bernie supporters away from Hillary. Trump’s message is actually very pro-woman. He promises a safer America and more opportunities to move up in the world. Trump needs more female advocates to unravel Hillary’s campaign strategy and translate his message.

Bosché also cites FBI director James Comey’s testimony of Clinton’s “careless” email use with a private server during her time as Secretary of State as a way to woo millennial voters.

In order to win the Millennial vote away from Hillary, Trump needs to remind voters how crooked Hillary really is. Both Millennial men and women care about justice—a lot. And we will find this young generation rejecting Hillary for president because she lacks authenticity. Millennials may never get butterflies voting for Trump. But Hillary’s America will make them feel sick.

“Trump needs to prove to voters we will be safer and have more opportunities with a Trump administration. He needs more young entrepreneurs telling stories of what their life will look like with Trump in office. It can’t just be Trump’s vision for America, it has to be all of ours,” Bosché concluded.


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