In the wake of President Trump’s election, activism among women has been on the upswing. More women are running for office. More women are donating money to candidates. Scores of women populate the “resistance groups” that sprang up after 2016.
Over the past several months, The Washington Post conducted lengthy interviews with women — Republicans and Democrats — living in the suburbs of Denver and the suburbs of Atlanta. The Post returned for repeat interviews to gauge women’s support for or opposition to Trump and their personal involvement in politics.
Some women who voted for Trump say that, after the confirmation battle of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, they feel an even greater need to retain a Republican Congress. But if Democrats win control of the House or Senate on Nov. 6, many women will have played an active role in bringing about that political outcome.
The women below are part of America’s changing political landscape.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I just didn’t see myself represented at all.”
Crystal Murillo decided to run for a spot on the Aurora City Council in suburban Denver after the election. She defeated an incumbent who was more than three times her age.
Now, she is learning how to navigate city issues and the power dynamics that go with them.
“You kind of need people to continually push for something different.”
“I felt less safe under Obama. ... We just can’t have open borders. People in certain countries really do hate Americans.”
Suzanne Holland is a retired AP government teacher. She will be handing out GOP literature and making phone calls ahead of the midterms.
She knows Trump’s “blunt style” is a turnoff for many women.
“Sometimes I wish he would just keep his mouth shut or keep his thumbs off his phone.”
“If anyone would have asked me three years ago, ‘Will you run for office?’ I would have laughed.”
Jasmine Clark cried in her pajamas the night Trump was elected. Then she got to work.
Now, the 35-year-old microbiologist and a mother of two is hoping to defeat a Republican incumbent in a Georgia state House race.
“I am a woman, I am black and I am a scientist and I felt that since Trump got elected, all of these parts of my identify were under attack.”
Dede Laugesen joined the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016, first as a volunteer and then as a member of the staff.
She is skeptical about talk of a blue wave in November. And she’s puzzled by the polls that show so many women do not like the president.
“It’s hard for me,” she said. “I’ve always been one who gets along better with the guys than I do the girls. And maybe that’s why God made me mother to six boys. I like a guy who can speak his mind and get things done.”
“He created the female warrior.”
The election jolted Caroline Stover. She has helped organize weekly protests outside the offices of a Republican senator. She thought 10 people would show up in her first protest. Instead, 147 people came.
“The way that he degraded women, the way that he degraded other groups ... I was not going to let that stand. I needed to raise my voice and say this is not my president, this is not America.”
“I don’t need him as my moral compass; I’m my own moral compass.”
Kelli Warren is a Republican political activist, and a former elementary school teacher. For the first time in eight years, she went on vacation this year.
She thanks Trump for her Florida beach week.
“The economy is good and people feel it.”