Donald Trump's Growing Problem With Women and What It Means for the GOP

Even Trump admits that "the numbers aren't as good with women as they were."

March 31, 2016, 2:47 PM

— -- Donald Trump's support among women may be on even shakier ground following the series of issues that have come up just in the past week alone.

From his campaign manager being charged with simple battery of a female reporter, to his argument with Sen. Ted Cruz about their wives, and now the comments he made on Wednesday -- and then reversed that same day -- about punishing women should they get abortions if the procedure is banned, Trump could be facing potential backlash from a significant portion of voters.

"I think that Donald Trump's standing with women honestly couldn't get much lower," said Jess McIntosh, a spokesperson for Emily's List, a group aimed at helping elect pro-choice Democratic women to the U.S. government.

The impact of the series of events from this week hasn't been measured yet, but likely will be clear when voters head to the polls in Wisconsin on Tuesday, April 5.

"In the Republican race, treatment of women has become a more salient issue this week," University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor Barry Burden told ABC News.

"The dust-up between Cruz and Trump about their wives has been a talking point. Trump's more recent comment about the need to punish women who get abortions [if the procedure is banned] has elevated the issue," Burden said, noting that Cruz held an event focused on women on Wednesday.

According to the Marquette University Law School poll of Wisconsin residents, which was released Wednesday, Trump has a 70.2 percent unfavorability rating, though the respondents were not solely women.

When it comes to the exit polls, prior to the last Mini Super Tuesday, which was held on March 15, Trump had won the biggest percentage of women's votes in 11 of the 15 state Republican primaries and caucuses that had happened by that time.

Of the five that were held on March 15, he had the highest percentage of women's votes in three of the five states, which could mark a decline from the previous rate.

For his part, Trump insisted "nobody respects women more than I do" repeatedly during the MSNBC town hall, which aired in full Wednesday night, though he admitted that his numbers have been going down.

"I mean, the numbers aren't good, the numbers were good, the numbers aren't as good with women as they were," he said.

According to two recent polls, the majority of the female registered voters have unfavorable views of Trump. In a March 23 Quinnipiac poll, 67 percent of females registered voters had unfavorable views of Trump, and in a CNN poll the next day, the outlet reported that 74 percent of females registered voters had unfavorable views of him.

The speed at which fellow Republicans and pro-life groups blasted Trump's comments about abortion before his complete reversal indicates that the party could be distancing itself from the man that is currently leading the GOP race.

"The whole Republican party has been on such shaky ground with women that having this guy lead their agenda might really take them all down," McIntosh said.

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