While Donald Trump maintains a statistically insignificant lead over Hillary Clinton in Georgia, if the Republican wins here it will be largely on the backs of white men, a new poll for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found.
The poll, conducted last week, gives Trump a 44 percent to 42 percent lead in the state. But the New York businessman trails among women 48-37. Conversely, he leads among men, 50-35. Trump also gets the support of just 3 percent of African Americans.
The reasons for the gender gap are many. History is one. No Republican has won among women nationally since 1988, according to exit polling. Trump’s well-publicized claims of groping women along with multiple accusations of sexual assault is another.
But the fact that Clinton’s lead among women is not actually higher is also telling. Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University in Washington, says pure partisanship is why. From our premium story on Sunday comes these key graphs:
“All of this is mediated and conditioned on party identification in the first place,” Lawless said. “It has to do with the party of the candidate.”
In other words, women voters who are firmly Republican are as unlikely to vote for Clinton as Democratic women would have been to vote for Carly Fiorina, had the former Hewlett Packard CEO won the GOP nomination.
But, Lawless said, there is something that can make a difference.
“One thing that can really upset that is if you have a candidate on one side or the other who is just unpalatable with a large section of the voters,” she said.
Enter, Donald Trump.