Donald Trump may be leading in many national polls, but he lags far behind in a poll gauging his popularity among a key demographic — women.
According to a straw poll of those attending the National Federation of Republican Women's recent convention, Carly Fiorina is trouncing Trump among GOP women. A whopping 27% of respondents named her as their first choice, but a mere 14% favored Donald Trump. After Fiorina's stellar performance in last week's debate, my guess is that gap will widen even more.
And, it's no wonder. Fiorina is winsome, articulate and classy. She's everything every mother hopes her daughters will be. The Donald is offensive, vulgar and juvenile. He's everything every mother hopes her sons will not to be.
But, beyond that, Fiorina has real substance on the issues. Whether it's foreign policy, national defense, the economy or social issues, Fiorina articulates a smart and bold vision for the future. And, it's one that's especially appealing to women.
1. Fiorina Wants What Women Want
For the past several years, Democrats have tried to score political points with women by supporting easy access to contraception and abortion, while decrying the GOP's faux "War on Women." It's not working.
An AP/GFK poll taken a month before the 2014 elections showed that in one month, likely female voters moved from favoring Democrats 47% to 40% to preferring Republicans 44% to 42%. This, despite the fact that Democrats were consistently highlighting contraception and abortion in their campaign messaging. One Democrat, incumbent Mark Udall of Colorado, blitzed the state with so many pro-abortion, pro-contraceptive ads that he earned the nickname Senator Uterus. Senator Uterus lost to Cory Gardner.
Truth is, most women, especially married women, care much more about nurturing their children than preventing and exterminating them.
As KellyAnne Conway, who owns the Polling Company, which conducted the recent straw poll of GOP women noted, "(GOP Women) are hardcore bad---es focused on Common core, not contraception!"
That's not quite how I'd put it, but I resonate with the sentiment. And, I'm heartened that Fiorina opposes the federal government imposing its agenda-driven, educational standards on local schools.
"(Common Core) is becoming a set of standards not on what a kid has to learn, but instead on how a teacher has to teach and how a student should learn," Fiorina said. "And, that kind of standardization is always going to drive achievement down, not up."
2. Fiorina Passionately Defends the Unborn
As already noted, women love their progeny. It's how God made us. And, though all the major GOP candidates oppose abortion and support de-funding Planned Parenthood, no one argues against it like Fiorina. In last week's GOP debate, Fiorina gave by far the most impassioned plea on behalf of the unborn.
Referencing the recent sting videos by the Centers for Medical Progress (CMP), she said, "I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, 'We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.' This is about the character of our nation. If we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us!"
This wasn't the first time Fiorina has blasted pro-abortion Democrats. Appearing on CNN with Jake Tapper in July, Fiorina came out swinging when Tapper tried to paint Republican's as extreme for supporting abortion restrictions that don't have exceptions for rape and incest.
"Let's talk about what extreme is," Fiorina said. "It's not a life until it leaves the hospital. That's Hillary Clinton's position. It's Hillary Clinton's position that a 13-year-old girl needs her mother's permission to go to a tanning salon or get a tattoo, but not to get an abortion.
"It's Hillary Clinton's position that women should not be permitted to look at an ultrasound before an abortion, and yet people who are trying to harvest body parts can use an ultrasound to make sure that those body parts are preserved so they can be sold. That, Jake, is extreme."
3. Fiorina Promotes the Dignity of Women
One of the most enjoyable moments of last week's debate was hearing Carly Fiorina's brilliant response to Trump's comment about her looks. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Trump had said, "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?" When pressed about his tasteless remark, Trump maintained that he was not talking about Fiorina's looks, but her "persona."
Moderator Jake Tapper gave Fiorina a golden opportunity to respond in kind, asking her what she thought of Trump's persona. Fiorina didn't stoop to Trump's level. Instead, she deftly said, "I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said."
With that one sentence, Fiorina not only exposed Trump's despicable chauvinism, but she instantly galvanized female voters sick of being subjected to men's judgment of their looks. It's terribly demeaning and it's something every woman has experienced.
Fiorina also elevated women when she dismissed a question about putting a woman on the $10 bill. "I think, honestly, it's a gesture," she said. "We ought to recognize that women are not a special interest group. Women are the majority of this nation." I couldn't agree more.
4. Fiorina Will Beat Hillary
Denny Burk, author and professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, echoed the feelings of many conservatives last Wednesday when he tweeted: "I would love to see Fiorina debate Clinton head-to-head. Anybody agree?"
Fiorina last week proved that her performance in the first GOP debate was not a fluke. She is extraordinarily articulate and quick on her feet. Plus, she can deliver a zinger with pinpoint accuracy. Perhaps her best of the night was, "If you want to stump a Democrat, ask them to name an accomplishment of Mrs. Clinton's."
The quip sticks because it's true. And, in a head-to-head debate, Fiorina, with her sharp wit and sound policies, would eviscerate Clinton. She'll expose that as a U.S. Senator, Clinton passed no significant legislation — and that her tenure at the State Department was a nightmare, capped by the Benghazi debacle and an email scandal.
In contrast, Fiorina will be able to highlight how she shattered the glass ceiling to become the first female CEO at Hewlett-Packard. She oversaw the company during the worst technology recession in 25 years, so it understandably struggled. However, during Fiorina's tenure, its sales doubled, and unlike many other tech companies, it survived.
I cringe to think of what a Trump-Clinton debate would be like, though. Trump would probably demean Clinton's clothing choice and ask her if it's her time of the month. He appears mean and brutish when debating nine men and a woman. He'll look like a wife-beater going up against Clinton.
Simply put, Trump is not what women want — and neither is Clinton. We want a woman who loves what women love — and someone's who's strong, but not a bully. That person is Carly Fiorina.