The Student Blog Post series invites students from my PLS 321: Electoral Process course to author their own blogs about recent election events.
The 2016 presidential election is proving to be an intense period in the American history. The two candidates are now going head-to-head in the polls as election day is only a few days away. However, taking a closer look at this election, we have come to see that it has been one rollercoaster of a ride for Donald Trump. From his comments about Muslims, Mexicans, building a wall, and of course, his lewd comments about women, he has proven to be a peculiar candidate.
Focusing specifically on his comments about women, recorded on the Access Hollywood tapes, he gave no regard to the treatment of the female gender. By saying comments such as they let them do anything to you when youre rich, shows what a misogynistic man he really is. However, we have to stop and wonder how he still has support from women, even after these comments. This blind following of Trump falls back to the idea of party identification. Some women are so loyal to the Republican Party, that it does not matter to them what comments Trump makes, as long as they fall into the Republican ideology.
The Michigan Model, a study created to see how voters vote they way they do, could potentially explain this attachment. The Michigan Model focused on the sociological and psychological thinking of voters. They found that people determined their vote through processing considerations in what they called The Funnel of Causality. This funnel consisted of three considerations: party identification, candidate characteristics and issue positions. For the researchers, they found that people voted foremost with whichever party they identified the most with, mostly ignoring issue positions or candidate qualifications.
Female Trump supporters might be voting for Trump because of the process described by the Michigan Model. Even though there is a woman in the race, female voters may support Trump because they are staunch Republicans. These women believe Trump is the best possible candidate for their party without knowing the basic facts about him such as that he started his life out as a Democrat, he has consistently lied and fluctuated on his words on national television, and also supports incredibly right wing policies that many Republican leaders from his own party do not even agree with.
Another factor as to why these women could be voting for such a right wing nominee is because of the idea of retrospective voting. This idea entails that voters make political decisions based on past events and performances. This theory is linked to pocketbook voting, which describes how voters take economic considerations into account. If the voter believes that the current party has done him or her justice in the last eight years, he or she is more likely to vote in the current partys favor. However, if the voter believes that he or she has suffered due to the current party and the president, he or she is more likely to vote in favor of the opposite party. Tying this back to the women, many of them could feel as if their families have suffered through an economic turmoil during Barack Obamas presidency, thus pushing them to cast their vote for Trump.
All in all, there are many factors as to why women are voting for Trump in this current election. It will be interesting to see how this close election will play out and how female voters will influence on who wins the election in these next few days.
Nupur Katti is a third year Political Science major who enjoys dancing, reading, and watching Netflix. She plans on going to law school right after graduation.