Thursday, December 20, 2018

Women Who Love Trump

By Daniel Henninger | The Wall Street Journal

Attendees hold “Women for Trump” signs at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., Aug. 2. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

His approval among female Republicans is 93%—higher than among GOP men.

A truism of the midterm elections is that women in the suburbs revolted against Donald Trump—or were revolted by Mr. Trump—and took it out on Republican candidates. Surveying the carnage among incumbent Republicans, there is little reason to challenge this conventional wisdom.

Still, some of us on principle don’t feel at home with the conventional wisdom, even as we admit its undeniable reality. So this week we are going to spend some time with what may be America’s most determined political outliers—the women who love Trump.

They aren’t just women. They are self-identified Republican women. No one likes Mr. Trump more than Republican women do. This parallel truth about women in the electorate jumped out from the data in the Dec. 17 Fox News Poll, a random national sample of registered voters.

Mr. Trump’s overall approval rating in the Fox poll is 46%. His approval among Republican women is 93%—8 points beyond his approval among GOP men. Republican women outrun men in their support for Mr. Trump on virtually every issue Fox polled.

These women aren’t doubt-free Trumpians. Of that remarkable 93% figure, 36% “somewhat” approve of him.

The president should be especially happy with the love he’s getting on the great hate of his life—the Russia-collusion investigation. The percentage of GOP women who think the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in 2016 is a mere 12%. The Republican men in their lives buy the collusion narrative at a 20% rate.

We aren’t underestimating the evident problem Mr. Trump has among U.S. women voters generally. The percentage of the Fox sample self-identifying as Republican women is 17%. Mainly, the strength of their belief stands as a benchmark of Trump support. If they ever go wobbly on Mr. Trump in any significant way, he’s done.

From that perspective, the details inside the Fox poll get interesting.

On the state of the economy, whose strength so far is the Trump presidency’s biggest achievement, GOP women are largely positive. Eighty-nine percent approve of his handling of it.

When asked if 2018 has been a good year for them and their families, 72% of Republican women said it was. In fact, a fairly amazing 41% of Democratic men said 2018 has been a good year for them, as did 31% of Democratic women. Indeed, 35% of Democratic men are hopeful about the country’s direction. These guys must be the most deeply closeted class of people in America.

That question about personal well-being, apparently, isn’t the same thing as asking people if they think 2018 has been good for “the country.” GOP women held steady at 71%, but Democratic men and women plummeted into the teens.

The measure of Republican women who are “concerned” about the economy is high, at 68%. About the same level of economic concern is reflected in all of the groups polled.

Nor do these Republican women think they are living in a Trumpian La La Land: 71% are upset at the country’s political divisions, and 18% don’t think Mr. Trump will be re-elected.

Which brings us to what may be the greatest Republican political blunder of this generation—failing to fix ObamaCare. The percentage of GOP women who express concern about health care is 77%.

Think the Democrats’ Medicare-for-all default can’t happen? On a scale of fair to excellent, Republican women give Bernie Sanders a net positive rating of 28%. I’d have expected it to be near zero.

No other potential Democratic candidate registers a heartbeat among these women, with one exception—Joe Biden, with what I’d call a nonnegative rating of 41%.

Unlike on deregulation and taxes, President Trump didn’t play much of a leadership role on health care or immigration this year; little got done legislatively. To be learned next year is whether any flank-covering deal Mr. Trump does for 2020 with the Pelosi Democrats on these issues will dent his support among the female Republican base. Some of the one-third who “somewhat” approve of him might become so-whats.

For now, they are on board the USS Trump no matter how many icebergs others see: 64% of these women don’t think the Mueller prosecution will come up with anything criminal or impeachable. Their GOP menfolk seem to be inching toward the lifeboats, at 57%.

We can end on a holiday high note. The Fox survey asked: “When deciding who to spend time with this holiday season, will the political views of friends and family be a factor.” Seventeen percent of grumpy Democratic men said yeah, it would be a “major” factor. But only 10% of Republican women said they’d banish friends or family over Ebenezer Trump. As Tiny Tim said, “God bless us, every one.”