Recent controversies coupled with allegations of sexual harassment threaten to drive female Evangelicals away from their traditionally republican voting behavior.
The split between Americans over support for a presidential candidate has never been so obvious as it is now over Republican Donald Trump. Trump is such a controversial figure his words have either been taken with the greatest praise by one section of people, or with the most bitter contempt by another. Even Christian Evangelicals, traditionally a group who guaranteed a red vote, are torn on Trump. One of the divides splitting the Evangelical vote is based on gender and treatment of women.
Ever since a leaked video surfaced in which Trump spoke in a very demeaning and insulting manner on women, even boasting about the ability to seduce any woman he wants, Evangelicals all over America developed second thoughts about their political affiliations. This distrust of Trump is more evident among female Evangelicals, most of whom seem to have given up on the Republican. Repeated accusations of sexual assault by Trump raised by other women have further ruined his cause among Evangelicals.
The Alt-Right’s Trump embrace of sexual abuse is tough even for evangelical white women Republicans to approve. https://t.co/eeliXNGMI1
— Frank Schaeffer (@Frank_Schaeffer) November 2, 2016
If matters weren’t bad enough for him, he recently made another major mistake his opponent Clinton gained from: he called her “a nasty woman.”
Clinton’s campaign could not have been happier because of Trump’s words. Even as the sparks of anger were forming in the hearts of Evangelical women from his earlier actions and comments, this most recent remark enkindled them into a blazing fire. Although made of just a few words, the sentence has profound implications, reflecting a deeply-set chauvinistic lack of respect for women.
For all the patriarchal rhetoric Evangelical men spew about "protecting women", supporting Trump seems like a real lousy way of doing it.
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) November 1, 2016
Wow–evangelical millennial women at Wheaton support Clinton, men go for Trump. Huge split: https://t.co/eGKMPtI34Q
— Elizabeth Dias (@elizabethjdias) October 28, 2016
Even as many Evangelical women decried Trump’s words and actions, not many male Evangelical leaders have followed suit, thereby creating a rift between the female and male leaders. This lack of sympathy from their male counterparts has been seen as a refusal to understand a woman’s plight and reflective of a sad reality where demeaning women is considered “normal.” For many women who themselves have personally been victims of sexual harassment and abuse, Trump is no longer an appealing candidate.
All in all, Trump’s slip from popularity to contempt in the eyes of Evangelicals is now very obvious. As far as women Evangelicals are concerned, Trump definitely seems to have lost favor in their sight, a trend that can tip the scales in favor of his opponent, Clinton.