Friday, November 24, 2017

'Women are pissed': Trump protest turns to action – and surge in female candidates

In the months before Donald Trump was elected president, Tara Zrinski knocked on thousands of doors in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley to talk with voters about environmental policy. She hoped that the conversations might help elect Hillary Clinton. But some of her most poignant interactions were not about policy. They were about husbands. “We heard women saying that they didn’t want to vote against their husband,” Zrinksi said. “That they weren’t going to vote because they didn’t want to cancel out his vote.”

Trump scored a narrow upset victory in the county, which had voted twice for Barack Obama. Trump’s support among women in Northampton probably mirrored his majority support among white women nationally, local pollsters say. That support helped Trump grab the state of Pennsylvania, and the White House. The loss was devastating for activists like Zrinski. But it was also galvanizing, to an extent that has begun to look bad – possibly alarmingly bad – for Trump and Republicans. Because one year after the presidential election, a wave of first-time female candidates stood for state and local office in Northampton County and across the United States – and they won.

“It was a huge Republican bloodbath, is the only word I can think of for it,” said Peg Ferraro, a popular Republican who narrowly retained her seat on Northampton’s County council. For the past year, the Guardian has been exploring Trump’s win in Northampton County for our series The Promise. As summer has turned to fall, doubts have grown locally about whether Trump could win the county again, which could have implications for his national staying power. And women are at the center of the story… read more: