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Morning Consult: GOP Men Targeted Over Trump’s ‘Woman’s Card’ Remark

May 4, 2016

Morning Consult: GOP Men Targeted Over Trump's 'Woman Card' Remark

By Eli Yokley

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly accused Democrat Hillary Clinton of “playing the woman card left and right,” a jab she has turned into a successful fundraising ploy and a point of pride on the campaign trail.

Now, Democrats are trying to use that same line of attack down the ballot. EMILY’s List on Wednesday will begin poking and prodding male Republican candidates in four Senate races and seven House races about whether they will “play the ‘woman’s card'” against the Democratic women challenging them.

In one release aimed at Colorado media, EMILY’s List spokeswoman Rachel Thomas says, “since he has no record of providing economic opportunity for women, will Rep. [Mike] Coffman play the ‘woman’s card’ too?”

Similar releases were planned against Reps. Rod Blum in Iowa, Ryan Zinke in Montana, Frank Guinta in New Hampshire, Bruce Poliquin in Maine, Lee Zeldin and John Katko in New York, and Cresent Hardy in Nevada.

The group is also planning to hit Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Rep. Joe Heck of Nevada, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. The message is nearly identical. Marcy Stech, another spokeswoman for the organization, said, “Pat Toomey and Donald Trump have already embraced an out-of-touch agenda that puts barriers in the way of Pennsylvania women.”

In two competitive contests where Democrats are challenging Republican women – New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock – EMILY’s List said it is withholding similar attacks.

In response to the group’s latest effort to tie Republican candidates to Trump, Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said, “Democrat senate candidates are all too eager to campaign on what they are against.”

“There is a reason Democrats aren’t lining up to campaign with Hillary Clinton,” Bozek added. “She is a toxic candidate whose failed leadership has put the security of our country at risk.”

Particularly in competitive House races, Republicans are trying to take some solace in their ability to distance themselves from Trump and his policies. Unlike Democrats in 2010, for example, who had voted for the president’s policies that were unpopular in some swing districts, nobody has actually voted on some of Trump’s most controversial proposals.

A Morning Consult survey from April 20-22, 2016 found that just 35 percent of women have a favorable view of Trump, compared with all respondents, of whom 57 percent have an unfavorable view. Among Republicans, 66 percent of voters have a favorable view of the party’s front-runner.

For Clinton, 44 percent of women have a favorable view, compared to 43 percent of the entire electorate. Clinton performs best with her own party: 75 percent of Democrats view her favorably.