CLEVELAND — Just days before accepting the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump was polling historically low among women, with just 34% of them supporting him, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Sunday.
His female supporters are so scarce that his numbers are lower now than on Election Day for any Republican presidential candidate since World War II. But inside the Republican National Convention this week, female Trump supporters were abundant and vocal.
Oklahoma delegate Monica Deon has been a Trump supporter since he announced his candidacy. She campaigned for him in the primaries, knocking on hundreds of doors, calling voters and enthusiastically waving signs at rallies in the Tulsa area.
Seventy percent of women have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, according to a Gallup poll from April, but Deon doesn’t understand why.
“I don’t know where all this negative publicity is coming from, because he is absolutely fantastic with women,” she said at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday. “He treats them as equals, he treats them with a lot of respect (and) he has them in high-paying jobs.”
Deon is one of many female delegates at the convention who support Trump’s presidential run, especially when the alternative is Hillary Clinton — who Deon said “should not have any type of security clearance.”
“Money, greed and lying is what (Clinton) is all about,” Deon said.
Entrepreneur Diane J. Schindlbeck — a Michigan delegate-at-large for Trump — said she hopes to see a female president someday, but doesn’t think Clinton is the right choice. She said she would have supported Sarah Palin if she had decided to run.
Schindlbeck started her own business, which raises money for dogs that work with law enforcement, and sees Trump’s business acumen as his greatest strength.
“The way he runs his business — I truly believe he is going to use those skills and those talents to hire or appoint great advisers and put the right people in place to help our economy,” she said. “I am a strong believer that we should run America like a business, and I think he’s going to put those skills to work.”
For some women, like Shundra Fuller, a nurse from Ocean Springs, Miss., Trump’s appeal goes beyond his politics. She said she likes him because he always says what’s on his mind, just like she does.
“He’s a man that, when he says something, he means it. We’ve had too many politicians who say, ‘We’re going to do this. We’re going to do that,’ but they (don’t),” Fuller said. “Donald Trump is very outspoken, and he means what he says. If he says he’s going to do it, I think he’s going to do it.”
While women at the convention said they won’t change their minds come Election Day, the same seems true for Clinton supporters. A USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll in June reported that among female Trump supporters, 90% said there is no chance they would change their votes, and 96% of Clinton backers said the same thing.