The issue that women care about most

Published 6:00 am Sunday, May 29, 2016

By Steve Vassallo

With both the Clinton and Trump campaigns chasing the vote of the ladies, the finding that is becoming clear as glass to pollsters is that women care more about the economy than any other issue.

The negatives of both candidates are off the charts and with more than half of the 2016 electorate being female, the pursuit of this gender especially in the suburbs will be fierce.

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As of this writing, Trump has overtaken Clinton in the first national poll (Fox News) 45 percent to Clinton’s 42 percent. What is most interesting, despite the Democrats’ negative ad campaign against Trump and his alleged lack of respect for women, the Donald now leads with white women. Hillary’s earlier advantage of all women (19 points) is now starting to narrow.

The New York Post is already comparing this year’s presidential election to 1828 when Andrew Jackson’s legions circulated rumors that incumbent John Quincy Adams had procured women for Czar Alexander I when Adams was ambassador to Russia. The personal attacks of this contest will be over the top by both sides as we are already seeing.

While we are on the subject of women, Melania Trump could become only the second foreign-born first lady. Ironically, the first and only was Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, wife of John Quincy. Louisa was born Feb. 12, 1775, in London. She lived until age 77 (1852) while residing in Washington, D.C. Her father (Joshua Johnson) was an American merchant whose brother, Thomas, served as governor of Maryland and United States Supreme Court Justice.

In the 2012 presidential election Romney won 53 percent of married women but only 44 percent of the total female vote. Trump must fare far better in order to win the White House. He is already attacking Clinton as an enabler and her handling of the former president’s many affairs.

With manufacturing employment down considerably since 2000 (payrolls in this sector have fallen by 5.7 million jobs), trade with China accounts for almost 40 percent of the decline in American manufacturing employment. This is a cornerstone of Trump’s campaign.

Donald T. Critchlow, a New York Post journalist, recently indicated that women now hold the majority of America’s middle management positions, which will definitely increase as more women are attaining college degrees. An interesting footnote is Hispanic women are entering college in greater numbers than the proportion of white males with high school diplomas.

What is being forecast to be the ultimate decider by women as to their vote will come down to which candidate can provide the best economic opportunities for children and future generations. The return of jobs back to the U.S. from foreign markets will be critical.

As in most elections, the economy typically rules the day and 2016 should be no exception. With a businessman, nonpolitician, making this case for the first time in nearly a century, it is going to be most interesting as to the contrast between Trump and Clinton on this issue.

How women evaluate this argument will in all likelihood select the 45th president. Even with a female to choose from for the very first time, the almighty dollar will also Trump this historical breakthrough as well!

Steve Vassallo is a contributing columnist and Oxford resident. He can be reached at