Democratic-leaning women abandon Hillary in droves

While some of us wonder whether Donald Trump’s poll numbers with GOP women will hold up, Hillary Clinton’s numbers with Democratic women plummet. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that only 42 percent of Democratic-leaning female voters say they expect to vote for Hillary. Eight weeks ago, 71 percent expected to.

Mildly sexist insults are one thing; blatant dishonesty and possible criminality are another. Or so it seems.

Clinton’s decline is driven by white women. 60 percent of non-white Democratic-leaning voters still support Clinton. However, her support their white counterparts is down to 37 percent, according to the poll.

The dramatic decline in Clinton’s support can only be explained by the email scandal. It’s the one major new development during the eight week period in which the 29 point drop occurred.

Hillary has said of the scandal “nobody talks to me about it other than [reporters].” Either she isn’t being candid or her pollsters, and the voters who talk to her, aren’t.

Hillary’s corruption provides a direct explanation for the erosion of her support. One woman interviewed by the Post put it this way:

I don’t think she’s honest. I just don’t want the drama we had for eight years, and we’ve already seen it.

Hillary’s corruption also hurts her indirectly by permitting Democratic women to vote their ideology and their pocketbook (as they see it), rather than their gender. Substantively, Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, reflects the leftism of many Democratic women better than Hillary, a timid socialist at best. The email scandal provides a rationale for abandoning the female candidate in favoring of the one who promises to hand out more “free stuff.”

But a decline as stunning as Clinton’s must be occurring across the ideological spectrum of Democratic women. And it almost surely extends to independents — possibly even more dramatically, since blacks make up a smaller proportion of this cohort.

If Clinton hangs in and obtains the nomination, the opportunity for Republicans is manifest, assuming the GOP doesn’t nominate a candidate who gets off on insulting women.