Utah has a growing political gender gap, and it’s mostly being driven by attitudes toward President Donald Trump.
UtahPolicy.com polling results show there is a big gap in attitudes toward President Donald Trump between men and women in the Beehive state. On other issues not involving Trump, the difference between genders mostly evens out.
In our most recent round of UtahPolicy.com we found:
58% of male voters approve of the job performance of President Donald Trump.
62% of female voters disapprove of Trump’s job performance.
48% of men think President Trump should be re-elected to another term in 2020.
67% of women say Trump should not get another term.
The distaste from Utah women toward Donald Trump tracks with national polling results. A recent Pew Research Center study found 63% of women nationally disapproved of Trump’s job performance. Utah men are much more approving of Trump’s job performance than the nation as a whole, with 46% of men nationally approving of Trump and 47% disapproving.
At least 19 women have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct. Trump also paid off two women, an adult film actress and a Playboy model, to keep them quiet about extra-marital affairs he had with them, one while his current wife was pregnant with his youngest child.
These poll results came before the allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh. They also were gathered prior to President Trump mocking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, at a campaign rally.
That animus for Trump could be a drag on the re-election campaigns for two of Utah’s Republican incumbents who are perceived as being closely allied with Trump.
In the 2nd Congressional District Rep. Chris Stewart has been one of the staunchest defenders of President Trump in the Russian interference in the 2016 election. Men back Stewart over his Democratic opponent Shireen Ghorbani by a 48-27% margin. But women are nearly evenly divided between Stewart and Ghorbani, with 43% supporting Stewart and 41% backing Ghorbani. You’ll remember that Stewart has done a complete flip-flop on Trump. During the GOP presidential primary season, Stewart famously called Trump “our Mussolini” when the GOP nomination was in doubt. After Trump won the GOP nomination and the presidency, Stewart fell in line along with the rest of the GOP.
In the 4th CD, Democrats have been pounding away at Rep. Mia Love’s closeness to Trump, pointing out over and over that she votes with Trump nearly 96% of the time. That line of attack is doing some damage to Love among women voters. Women support Democrat Ben McAdams over Love 51-43%, while men are behind Love 54-41%.
Among Republican candidates who aren’t seen as aligned with Trump, the gender gap does not exist.
In the U.S. Senate race, 55% of men and women support Republican Mitt Romney. Romney has been a vocal critic of Trump in the past.
In the 1st District, Republican Rob Bishop is supported by 63% of men and 54% of women. Bishop has not been attacked for being too close to Trump despite voting with the president nearly 96% of the time.
3rd District Rep. John Curtis gets overwhelming support from both men and women, with 67% of men backing him over Democrat James Singer and 62% of women supporting him. Curtis votes with Trump 95% of the time.
The gender gap for Rep. Stewart is startling as his race against Ghorbani is not a high-profile contest this year and is not thought to be competitive in any way. However, he is clearly struggling among women voters, and the logical conclusion is because of his complete reversal on Trump.
Obviously, there’s room for Democratic candidates to pick up some votes among women voters by tying their Republican opponents to Trump. However, with ballots going out to voters next week, there’s likely not enough time to really take advantage.