In focus groups with women voters in Pennsylvania and Nevada this week, my organization posed a simple question: "I'm going to say a name and I want you to tell me the first thing that comes to your mind." When we uttered the words "Donald Trump," the comments came flying:
"Scary. Obnoxious. Like a tyrant."
"Liar. Narcissist. Racist."
"I can't trust anyone with such an explosive temper."
The results, while anecdotal, have been confirmed in survey after survey ever since. In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, three-quarters of registered voters said Trump is biased against women and minorities. Nearly three in four African-American women are now "strongly" afraid of what will happen if Trump is elected, a Gallup poll confirms.
American women are fearful of a Trump presidency and so am I. In incident after incident, interview upon interview, Trump has insulted and disrespected women. Consider just a few choice examples: He's called women fat pigs, slobs and disgusting animals, mocked a Gold Star mother, suggested that women who are sexually harassed should just find new jobs and declared that abortion should be outlawed and women punished for terminating a pregnancy.
Trump has made abundantly clear that he's ignorant of, or hostile to, the concerns of women and the unmarried women -- single, separated, divorced or widowed -- who make up over 25 percent of all Americans eligible to vote and are one of the fastest growing demographic groups in America.
I founded the Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund more than a decade ago, and we've been listening closely to single women ever since. After years of conducting focus groups and extensive polling, I'd be glad to educate Trump in what unmarried women truly care about.
They want good-paying jobs, since unmarried women make up almost half of all workers earning either minimum wage or less than minimum wage. They want equal pay for equal work, since unmarried women earn only sixty-two cents for every dollar a married man makes. They want affordable health care and child care. They want to lift themselves and their families up by attending colleges that won't break the bank. And, yes, they want--and deserve--to make their own medical decisions.
But, mostly this campaign season, they are looking for politicians who understand their lives and will work to improve their futures. As the women of Philadelphia and Las Vegas made clear this week, name callers, bullies and misogynists need not apply.
--Page Gardner is founder and president of the Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund.