Donald Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort on Thursday suggested that women won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because they are concerned that their husbands are having a hard time paying their families’ bills.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Manafort said that he wasn’t concerned about the Republican nominee’s unpopularity among female voters because women will be attracted to Trump’s antiestablishment message.
“Many women in this country can’t afford their lives. Their husbands can’t afford paying the family bills,” Manafort said.
He added: “Hillary Clinton is part of that establishment that created that problem. They’re going to hear the message. And as they hear the message, that’s how we’re going to appeal to them.”
Matthews quickly pointed out to Manafort that he was talking about only a select group of married women.
“You know what you just said? You said women are concerned about their husband’s income,” Matthews said. “Is that the 21st century talking? That’s the big concern – how their husbands are doing?”
“I can speak personally to that,” Manafort replied, smiling. “They can’t afford their lives anymore. That’s the point.”
As marriage rates have dropped in recent presidential elections, unmarried female voters have become an increasingly important part of the electorate. The group accounted for 25% of the electorate in the 2012 presidential election and helped President Barack Obama win among female voters overall.
Trump has struggled particularly among married women, a shrinking yet vital constituency that has leaned Republican in recent presidential elections. Recent polls have shown, though, that married women support Clinton over Trump.