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How Trump stumped the GOP elite

Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report and Tamara Keith of NPR join Judy Woodruff to discuss the latest in politics, including why Hillary Clinton’s appeal to women voters is getting mixed results, how Clinton and Donald Trump can build their stock among women and whether Trump can bridge the deepening divides within the Republican party.

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  • Judy Woodruff

    : That brings us to Politics Monday with Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report and Tamara Keith of NPR.

    So, let’s talk about Hillary Clinton out on the campaign trail today, clearly trying to appeal, Tamara, to women voters to make the case that she’s the one. And yet, as you just heard in that John Yang report, it is a mixed picture. How mixed is it?

  • Tamara Keith, NPR:

    It is more mixed for Donald Trump than it is for Hillary Clinton. Let’s just be clear. And generally speaking, there is a gender gap.

    Going back to 1980, there is a gender gap, where women voters tend to favor the Democrats. For the last — all those years, they have favored the Democrat. And so she has demographics on her side, certainly. But she is working hard. And, as John Yang pointed out, she was there in this very swing county where the — where the congresswoman, the new congresswoman who represents that district, has said she’s not ready yet to support Donald Trump. She’s a Republican.

  • Judy Woodruff

    : New Republican.

  • Amy Walter, The Cook Political Report:

    Yes.

  • Judy Woodruff

    : That’s right.

    Amy.

  • Amy Walter

    : Yes, I would say Hillary Clinton has a problem with women. Donald Trump’s problems are bigger.

    And when you look at the last polling that has come out nationally, among suburban women — and, obviously, where we saw the report from John today, that’s the key area, swing area — she was at minus-10 in terms of her approval ratings among suburban women. However, Donald Trump was at minus-46.

    But, as you saw from these women — I have sat down — I’m sure you have too on the campaign trail. I have sat in focus groups with women in other suburbs. And what they are saying is, they don’t really love Donald Trump or what he — his tone, his temperament. They like some of his positions on the issues.

    And, more importantly, they are not in love with Hillary Clinton. They are — she’s still going to have to work to get them there. The women who said they were voting for her were doing it much more as a vote against Donald Trump than for her.

  • Judy Woodruff

    : So, is there room for Donald Trump to gain with women, Tamara? How do you read that?

  • Tamara Keith

    : Well, he certainly has room.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • Tamara Keith

    : There is lots of running space there.

    It’s not clear whether or not he can actually make up that ground. And how does he do it? Well, probably by changing the way he’s talking right now, because, every time he goes out, he says another thing or repeats something.

    This woman’s card, for instance, that was — I don’t know how many people came on my Twitter feed and said, I support Bernie Sanders, but, wow, this woman card thing makes me want to support Hillary Clinton, things like that.

    So, Donald Trump has a challenge on his hands, certainly.

  • Judy Woodruff

    : What about — Amy, what about Hillary Clinton? I mean, where does she — how does she get women more enthusiastic about her?

  • Amy Walter

    : She has to do two things.

    One, she has to convince voters that it is more than just a bad thing to vote for Donald Trump; it’s a big risk. And I think you’re going to be hearing that over and over again. We heard — the dangerous Donald was part of the rhetoric.

    And it’s going to be on issues, not just about women’s issues, but security. Do you feel safe with him as the commander in chief? So, many of those sorts of undertones, you are going to hear in advertising, I think, both from Hillary Clinton and others.

    And, at the end of the day, though, if 2008 was hope and change, unfortunately, I think 2016 is going to be fear and loathing. And it is going to be much more about who do you dislike less than who you like more.

  • Judy Woodruff

    : Brace ourselves for it.

  • Tamara Keith

    : It could be a very grim six months.

  • Judy Woodruff

    : Well, let’s talk a little bit more about Donald Trump.

    Clearly, Tamara, we’re witnessing some kind of split, not just split, mega-divisions inside the Republican Party, as one Republican after another figures out what he or she is going to do. How serious is this split in the party right now?

  • Tamara Keith

    : It is very serious. And it is very public.

    And the mere fact that there is a nominee, essentially — there’s nothing standing between Donald Trump, the nomination — and his party is not falling in line is a significant sign, that there are various members of Congress, the speaker of the House saying he’s not ready yet.

    And I think that the establishment Republicans don’t know what to do. They still don’t know what to do with Donald Trump. You know, the whole never Trump movement was about, well, he is not conservative enough. He’s not a real Republican.

    Well, voters didn’t care. Republican voters didn’t care. And so I think that the Republican establishment is now in this place of just not knowing what to do, how to proceed, how to keep their party, the party that they think it is or should be.

  • Judy Woodruff

    : How do you see this?

  • Amy Walter

    : And I think there’s a big — I think there is a big divide between how Republicans in Washington see this and how Republican voters are seeing this.

    That is what I am watching. I’m less concerned about what Paul Ryan and other elites are doing. I’m much more concerned about how Republican voters feel. And right now, it is true they are divided, only 72 percent of Republicans right now saying that they would vote for Donald Trump up against Hillary Clinton. That is very low.

    Normally, you want to hit 90 percent. If that number starts moving closer to 90 percent, then whether Paul Ryan is with him or not is not as significant. If it doesn’t move, then that shows that Paul Ryan reflects a lot of the views of the Republican Party.

  • Judy Woodruff

    : But you do hear, just quickly to both of you, the argument from the Trump camp that, yes, we may not have all Republicans on board, but we are broadening the picture of voters who we can appeal to.

  • Tamara Keith

    : That is exactly what they are saying.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • Amy Walter:

    And it’s not showing up at all.

    Right now, his numbers with all these groups that you are talking about, women, Democrats, Latinos, younger voters, independents, she is doing better among them than Obama did against Mitt Romney.

  • Judy Woodruff

    : So, is it — so, is this just what they say while they figure out what they’re going to do?

  • Tamara Keith

    : Yes.

    Unless you say it’s over, looking at the demographics, the Clinton campaign is very concerned about Donald Trump. They are concerned that this is — that people think this is going to be easy for her. And it’s not.

    As Chris Christie said, Donald Trump threw out the playbook. And I think every one is trying to figure out how to react.

  • Judy Woodruff

    : Well, we have a little bit of time left…

  • Amy Walter

    : We have a lot of time…

    (CROSSTALK)

  • Judy Woodruff

    : … between now and November to see what’s going on.

    Tamara Keith, Amy Walter, great to you have both. Thank you.

  • Amy Walter

    : You’re welcome.

  • Tamara Keith

    : Glad to be here.

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