Trump's trouble with women doesn't extend to local GOP
Four of seven House seats representing York County might be occupied by women after the coming election, but a majority of those women don't want to see Hillary Clinton become the country's first female president.
Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York Township, who is running unopposed in the 93rd district, recently joined a Pennsylvania Women for Trump statewide leadership team.
Phillips-Hill said the team's chairwoman, GOP National Committeewoman Christine Toretti, reached out to her, and she thought it would be "a wonderful opportunity to share the concerns" of York County residents with Donald Trump's campaign.
Phillips-Hill expressed a desire for all of the candidates, including Trump, to speak with more civility during the campaign, but she said she sides with Trump on most major issues.
"The support for Trump in York County has been significant," she said. "People here see the government as broken ... and a lot of people want it fixed."
Polls show Phillips-Hill is in the minority of American female voters, according to pollster G. Terry Madonna, who said some polls have shown Trump trailing Clinton by double-digit percentage points among women.
"Trump needs growth in (support from) women voters to win this election," Madonna said. "He's got to counterbalance."
On Tuesday, Trump unveiled his proposal for universal paid maternity leave and new subsidies for child care, according to The New York Times.
Trump's plan would require employers to give six weeks of maternity leave, with payments made by the unemployment system, and new income tax deductions for child care expenses, the New York Times reports.
Madonna, noting that the plan doesn't align with general Republican beliefs, said the move was likely a move his campaign believes will resonate with women.
Dawn Keefer, a Franklin Township Republican running for the 92nd House seat, said she hasn't been able to read through the plan's details, but as a working mother, she'd support it as long as its expenses are covered.
A backer of Ted Cruz during the primary election, Keefer said she now supports Trump because of his business record and candor.
Rep. Kate Klunk, R-Hanover, who is running for re-election in the 169th district, is a bit more guarded than Phillips-Hill or Keefer in her support of Trump.
Klunk, in an email, wrote that "Donald Trump is our Republican nominee" and she "will continue to support our Republican candidates who promote fiscal responsibility and who advance policies that are good for the families and small businesses here in the 169th district."
"Right now, my primary focus is on serving the people of the 169th district and my own campaign for re-election," she wrote.
Madonna pointed out that hundreds of Republican legislators across the country, including women, have refused to endorse Trump, but he doesn't believe it will have a long-term effect on their place in the party.
"Generically, he's only one candidate," Madonna said. "You don't have to separate yourself from the party if you don't support him, because he's the most unconventional Republican candidate in modern history."
York City Council President Carol Hill-Evans, who recently took over as the Democrat on the ballot in the 95th district, could not be reached for comment, but she has said in the past that she supports Clinton.
Clinton, already the first woman to win an American major party's presidential nomination, is seeking to become the country's first female president.
Phillips-Hill acknowledged that a woman being elected as the nation's commander-in-chief would be a significant historical event, but said this election shouldn't be about gender.
"It's important to have women in office because we have different life experiences and perspectives, but we have to vote for someone based on what they stand for and what they get done," she said. "I believe that's why people voted for me."
Keefer said seeing a woman as president would set a good precedent for her daughter that there are "no limitations."
"It has to go beyond them as women, though," she said. "We need good, conservative people in office."
Klunk wrote simply that she will not support Clinton.
"She has repeatedly shown the American people that she is not fit to be president of the United States," she wrote of the former secretary of state and senator from New York.