The FINANCIAL -- Donald Trump's image among U.S. women tilts strongly negative, with 70% of women holding an unfavorable opinion and 23% a favorable opinion of the Republican front-runner in March. Trump's unfavorable rating among women has been high since Gallup began tracking it last July, but after rising slightly last fall, it has increased even further since January.
These monthly averages are based on interviews with more than 3,600 U.S. adults rating Trump as well as the other major candidates in the race each month as part of Gallup Daily tracking.
Trump's image is also more negative than positive among men. As a result, his overall image is the most negative of any of the five remaining major candidates from both parties who are running for president. Still, men are not nearly as negative toward Trump as women are. The gap between his favorable and unfavorable rating among men averaged 22 percentage points in March 1-28 interviewing, compared with a 47-point gap among women.
Since last year, Trump's net favorable rating (% favorable minus % unfavorable) among all adults nationally has worsened, to -35 in March from -17 in August. But despite a nearly constant string of controversies that raise questions about Trump's attitudes toward and treatment of women, the decline in his image among men has been similar to that among women.
One possible explanation for Trump's better image among men is that men overall are more likely to identify as Republicans, while women are more likely to identify as Democrats.
But attitudes toward Republican candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich belie this partisan explanation, given that men and women nationally have similar views of each of these two candidates. Cruz's image tilts about equally negative among both genders, while the two genders view Kasich equally positively. Cruz's image has become much more negative among both men and women over the past two months, but generally in lock step. The one-point difference in his net favorable rating between men (-15) and women (-16) in March is on par with the average four-point difference seen since July.
Hillary Clinton, like Trump and Cruz, is viewed more negatively than positively by both men and women, though of these two, women are far less negative. This likely reflects the basic female gender skew among Democrats and that Clinton is the only female candidate in the race. Clinton's stronger performance among women than among men has been a constant over the past nine months. Her average net favorable rating has been 21 points higher among women than among men, close to her current 17-point gap in March.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has a better image among women than among men, although with a smaller gap than is the case for Clinton.
Trump's Gender Gap Mostly Among Republicans
Most of the gender gap in views of Trump is a result of Republicans' views, with ratings of Trump much more positive among Republican men (61% favorable, 36% unfavorable) than among Republican women (49% favorable, 46% unfavorable). Among Democrats, men and women are more united in their dislike of the candidate, with high unfavorable ratings of Trump among both groups.
There was a sizable gender gap in Americans' views of Trump as early as last July. But even as his overall image has worsened among both genders in recent months, the size of the gender gap has been fairly steady. Trump's "woman problem" has come into sharper focus this week with his latest high-visibility comments about women and abortion. It is too early to measure what effect those comments may be having on his image. But even before these remarks, fewer than one in four women viewed him favorably, suggesting he may already be down to a core of rock-hard supporters whose opinions aren't likely to change.