Donald Trump has called various women fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals. He said Republican presidential contender Carly Fiorina gave him "a massive headache" just by talking. He retweeted someone who called Fox News's Megyn Kelly a "bimbo." To many critics, these insults reek of sexism.
But despite the press coverage of Trump's offensive comments, Republican women don't seem to dislike the billionaire much more than they do other Republican candidates.
A new Gallup analysis of polls from July and August of more than 7,400 Republican and Republican-leaning adults found Trump had about 50 percent favorability among female respondents. In comparison, Scott Walker was at 39 percent, Marco Rubio was at 46 percent, and Jeb Bush was at 53 percent. Trump's "gender gap" — the difference in how many men support him versus women — was lower than five other candidates in the field, including Rubio, but higher than eight candidates, including Bush, Fiorina, and Mike Huckabee.
What could explain Gallup's findings? It's possible that Republican women are putting Trump's policy ideas over his attitude. In the US, women tend to be more liberal than men, showing more support for social welfare programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. And Trump — like Huckabee — has been a vocal critic of cutting these programs, stating, "Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid. And we can't do that. And it's not fair to the people that have been paying in for years and now all of the sudden they want to be cut."
Still, while surveys show that women tend to be more liberal than men, it's not clear that the same trends apply to Republican women versus Republican men. So it's possible that Republican women are just as conservative as the men in their party, and something else is going on in Gallup's findings.