White women helped push Trump to victory, despite campaign missteps

An estimated 53 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election. His female supporters in Virginia say issues were more important than gender when casting their ballot.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FILE – JUNE 7, 2016) (RESTRICTED POOL – When Republican Donald Trump rose to victory last week in the U.S. presidential election, it was due in part to the estimated 53 percent of white women who voted for him over Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to exit polls.

Despite the historic nature of her bid as the first female nominee of a major party, women tended not to vote along gender lines and instead according to the issues they cared about.

For a Republican women’s group in Culpeper, Virginia, those included: nominating conservative Supreme Court justices, fighting terrorism, cracking down on illegal immigration, and improving the economy.

“[Trump’s] support for business, his obvious disgust with over-regulation and the tremendous cost — almost invisible cost to consumers that that entails — he knows that backwards and forwards,” said Nancy Rice, a member of the Founding Fathers Republican Women club. “I’m very confident that good things will happen on his watch.”

In addition, a slew of Trump campaign missteps — from the leaking of a video showing the candidate making vulgar remarks about women to multiple allegations against him of sexual assault — did not dent many women’s support, as some political analysts had predicted.

“There’s certainly some language that none of us would support, but I think that he has been mislabeled,” said Barbara Kile, president of the club. “I do not think he’s a sexist, looking at what he’s done in his businesses with women and the way he’s developed them.”

“His sins were less damaging than Hillary’s crimes. Her crimes were huge, and she gets away with everything, although she didn’t get away with winning this election,” added Jewell Duvall with a laugh.

Janet McDonnell, a retired school teacher, agreed.

“I think a lot of women are over this glass ceiling thing. If they’re strong enough in their own person, they don’t need to put their trust in a woman because she’s a woman.”