Donald Trump's situation with women voters is utterly dismal. According to polls, his support among women is barely half of Hillary Clinton's, and around seven out of 10 women view him unfavorably.
It's an image Clinton's campaign has been quick to take advantage of – and an attack Trump has been quick to disregard, even saying Clinton "doesn't do very well with women" (she does).
But three women are now trying to turn things around for the presumptive GOP nominee with the launch of Women Vote Trump, a new Super PAC supporting Trump, as Julie Bykowicz of the Associated Press reported Thursday.
Founders Kathryn Serkes, Amy Kremer, and Ann Stone announced that the group plans to have volunteer staff across the country and is hoping to raise $30 million to support the presumptive Republican nominee. It will be the fourth Super PAC in support of Trump, a candidate who has denounced Super PACs throughout but now faces the prospect of badly trailing Clinton in the general election money chase.
"There are so many ad hoc groups of women who back Trump, and what we want to do is harness their energy and give them a home," Serkes told the AP. A Tea Party member who co-founded the Doctor Patient Medical Association, a group aiming to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Serkes has partnered with Kremer, also a leader in the Tea Party movement, and Stone, the ex-wife of controversial GOP operative and close Trump friend Roger Stone.
Trump will need all the help he can get. A Super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton recently released two videos highlighting many of Trump's past derogatory comments on women, and recent articles in the New York Times, Slate, and the Daily Beast have all outlined his past run-ins with misogynistic behavior. In the campaign season he has attempted to disparage a woman assault victim, indirectly called female reporters bimbos and lightweights, and said Clinton's only asset is her "woman card."
Trump has a long way to go with women voters
So far, all this sexism hasn't hurt Trump in primaries, but the general election is a whole other ballgame.
"For Donald Trump to win the White House he must find a way to attract more women voters to his candidacy," NBC's Dante Chinni wrote in May.
Based on the past 20 years of polling data, women play an important role in general elections in two significant ways: Women disproportionately vote for the Democratic candidate, and they consistently make up more than 50 percent of the electorate.
A general election NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from April showed Clinton had a 23-point lead over Trump in women voters. And from exit polling, Trump supporters have time and time again proven to be predominantly white and predominantly male.
In Chinni's analysis of the poll, Trump's best-case scenario means raising his support among male voters to the highest of any candidate in the past three decades and bringing Clinton's support among women to the lowest of any candidate in the past three decades — and that still doesn't quite make the cut. He wrote:
Even if Trump can do all of that - get his advantage with men up to Bush's 11-point edge and get Clinton's edge with women down to just 11 points - he still would come up short in the popular vote because of the first part of the equation: women produce more votes. It would be very close though, a margin of just less than a percentage point, maybe close enough to put the all-important Electoral College tally in play.
"The question remains to be seen whether they will vote or if it will impact their vote to have a candidate who speaks in the way that Trump does and has for most of his lifetime about women," Fox News's Megyn Kelly said of women voters on Good Morning America last month.