One woman in Ohio's 12th District said she fears Republican Troy Balderson would be a "rubber stamp" for Trump.
In a hotly contested congressional special election in Ohio, many Republican women are abandoning Republican Troy Balderson and crossing party lines to support his Democratic opponent, Danny O’Connor.
One big reason for the switch? Women are disgusted by Balderson’s close alignment with Trump.
Reuters interviewed a dozen mostly Republican women in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, outside of Columbus, and found that several were abandoning their previous voting habits to support O’Connor — often because of Trump.
“I was shocked. I don’t know why Trump said those things,” Becky von Zastrow, 51, told Reuters, referring to Trump’s servile behavior toward Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in Helsinki this month.
At that press conference, in front of the world, Trump made the unprecedented decision for a U.S. president to side with Putin, a foreign adversary, and against U.S. intelligence agencies.
Von Zastrow, a lifelong Republican, said she will vote for O’Connor in the Aug. 7 special election.
Tricia Kalmar, who typically votes for Republicans, told Reuters she will support O’Connor because of Balderson’s alliance with Trump. She said she doesn’t want a “rubber stamp” for Trump representing her in Congress.
In one interview with the Columbus Dispatch, Balderson was actually unable to come up with any policy areas where he disagreed with Trump.
Recent polls show that these women are part of a nationwide trend. Across America, women are rejecting Trump and embracing Democratic candidates.
A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll shows a “staggering 43-point gender gap” between women and men who disapprove of Trump, with 62 percent of women disapproving.
The numbers are even more dire for Trump in suburban areas across the U.S., NPR notes; 57 percent of suburban women strongly disapprove of Trump.
Ohio’s 12th District is a suburban area — so these numbers could bode very well for O’Connor in both the Aug. 7 special election and the November general election, where the two candidates will face off once again.
A Democrat has not won a congressional election in the 12th District district since 1980. Trump carried the district by 11 points.
But since Trump was elected, Democrats have won special elections in deep-red Alabama and in a Republican-heavy district in Pennsylvania, among other victories that foreshadow a “blue wave” of Democratic wins in November.
Trump’s alienation of Republican women could be enough to turn the tide and help Democrats continue their special election winning streak.