This week, amid an avalanche of accusations from women claiming that Donald Trump inappropriately touched, groped, or otherwise harassed them, the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign attempted to prove that “millions of women” are, in fact, voting Trump.
An email sent Thursday evening by Trump’s national director of women engagement implored female voters to show their support for Trump on social media. By Friday morning, #WomenWhoVoteTrump was trending on Twitter.
Though the hashtag was quickly co-opted by anti-Trump women as well as male Hillary Clinton critics, there were plenty of tweets from what appear to be actual female Trump supporters who used the hashtag in earnest to explain why they are standing by the Republican nominee.
— Julie K. Marks (@JulieKMarks) October 15, 2016
— Ms.DeplorableInfidel (@DayumMaam) October 15, 2016
— Frannie LaBrador (@franniel333) October 15, 2016
— Tampa gal (@MyFlPerspective) October 14, 2016
#WomenWhoVoteTrump want a safe future 4 their families! Strong border, job & financial security & a MAN willing 2 take on the establishment!
— Deplorable Me????????⚡⚡ (@chrgdup1973) October 14, 2016
— Deplorable Giselle (@Gunmetal_Kitten) October 14, 2016
I'm a white, SUBURBAN mom.
I'm a small business owner.
I'm college educated.
I'm voting Trump. #WomenWhoVoteTrump
— Deplorable Polodojo (@polodojo) October 14, 2016
Others showed their support by posting on the National Women for Trump Facebook page, which as of Saturday morning had been “liked” by more than 26,000 people.
Since launching his bid for the presidency last June, Trump has struggled to woo female voters. But ever since the release last week of a 2005 video in which Trump is heard making lewd comments about women and boasting about his ability to grab, kiss, and do whatever else he wants to women because he’s “a star,” his support among women has continued to wane.
Several national polls released Tuesday following the second presidential debate showed that Clinton’s lead among female voters had surged into double digits over Trump — and that was before a growing list of women came forward alleging that Trump used the behavior described in the 2005 video against them in real life.
Despite the momentum of #WomenWhoVoteTrump on Friday, a Yahoo News interview with a Trump team insider revealed that the campaign’s new strategy for combating the mounting accusations against their candidate is more in line with a different hashtag: #RepealThe19th. Referring to the constitutional amendment that grants women the right to vote, #RepealThe19th began trending earlier this week after statistician Nate Silver posited that based on the latest polling, Donald Trump could win the presidency if only men voted.
And here's if just dudes voted. pic.twitter.com/HjqJzIVwc4
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) October 11, 2016
While not going so far as to suggest that women should not be legally permitted to cast ballots this November, the Trump source admitted that the campaign does intend to try to prevent them from doing so.
“We’re not trying to sell Trump to millennial women,” the source told Yahoo News. Instead, he explained, “We’re trying to drive them to a third party or just have them not vote.”