Only 21% of young women have a favourable view of Ivanka Trump

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Photo credit: 73f2d35b-90d5-4a0a-a44f-39ec34ff95d9
Photo credit: 73f2d35b-90d5-4a0a-a44f-39ec34ff95d9

From Harpers Bazaar UK

It's been a rough couple of weeks for Ivanka Trump. After being heralded on the campaign trail as a levelheaded moderate who might be able to win over female voters for her father, she's been caricatured recently for being "complicit" in President Donald Trump's agenda and criticised for her recent decision to take a job in the West Wing.

There are also rumours that she and her husband, Jared Kushner, are in a power struggle with Donald Trump's controversial chief strategist, Stephen Bannon - and as a result, right-wing news outlets like Breitbart, which Bannon used to edit, are lashing out at the couple. Now, a new poll conducted by SurveyMonkey shows that, although she still remains slightly more popular than her father, young women have a particularly negative view of the first daughter.

According to the survey, 39 per cent of Americans overall have a favourable view of Ivanka Trump, while 37 percent have an unfavourable view, and 22 per cent say they don't know enough to say. (First lady Melania Trump matches Ivanka in popularity, with an identical approval rating of 39 per cent, and an unfavourability rating of 33 per cent.) And while the same number of Americans (39 percent) have a favourable impression of Donald Trump, far more (59 per cent) say they're displeased with the president than with his daughter or his wife.

An approval rating under 40 per cent isn't much to brag about - former first lady Michelle Obama's favourability rating averaged above 60 per cent during her eight year tenure, for example - but it's relatively high compared to other members of the Trump inner circle. Although more respondents seemed unfamiliar with Ivanka Trump's husband and Donald Trump's senior adviser, Jared Kushner, or other key Trump administration figures like White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, the favourability ratings of those figures were even lower than those of Donald, Ivanka and Melania. Only 26 per cent of Americans have a favourable view of counsellor to the president Kellyanne Conway, 25 per cent have a favourable view of Kushner and press secretary Sean Spicer, 21 per cent have a favourable view of Priebus and 20 per cent have a favourable view of Bannon.

But despite her emphasis on providing support for women in the workforce, Ivanka Trump is more popular among men than among women. Only 35 per cent of women view her favourably, compared to 44 per cent of men. Again, these numbers are nearly identical to Melania Trump's favourability ratings among men and women, although the first lady has less visibly positioned herself as a champion for women.

Ivanka's focus on women's' rights has come under increasing scrutiny since her father moved into the White House. She reportedly reached out to progressive organisations like Planned Parenthood and the National Women's Law Center in the weeks after her father's inauguration, but Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, called out Ivanka Trump last week for her failure to speak up against her father's policies, pointing out that she is "one of the highest-ranking women" in the administration. "Anyone who works in this White House is responsible for addressing why women are in the cross-hairs of basically every single policy that we've seen out of this administration," Richards said.

In a recent interview with CBS, Ivanka defended herself against accusations that she is complicit in her father's agenda, saying she'll continue to work for women's education and economic empowerment. "Where I disagree with my father, he knows it. And I express myself with total candour," she said.

But younger women - who ostensibly stand to benefit from policies Ivanka has advocated for, like a child-care tax credit and maternity leave protection - seem especially unconvinced. Only 21 per cent of women aged 18 to 34 have a favourable view of her, while a majority (52 per cent) view her unfavourably. By contrast, 32 per cent of younger men and 45 per cent of women over the age of 65 have a positive impression.

Some of the survey's findings may be explained by the fact that more women tend to be Democrats, regardless of age. Women, overall, were less likely than men to have a favourable view of the president, his family and advisers: For example, nearly half (46 per cent) of men have a positive impression of Donald Trump, compared to only 32 per cent of women.

Despite wide partisan gaps in perceptions of the Trump inner circle, there were still noteworthy splits in perception between younger and older women, even among Republicans - and in some cases, younger women's views of Ivanka and Melania Trump were more negative than their views of the president. 67 per cent of younger Republican women had a favourable view of Ivanka, and 60 per cent had a favourable view of Melania, while 71 per cent had a favourable view of Donald Trump. These findings are especially striking compared to Republican women between the ages of 35 and 64: More than 80 percent of these women had favourable views of the president, the first lady and the first daughter.

Although according to the survey, Donald Trump's family members and closest advisers are unpopular among younger women across the board, the low favourability numbers may be especially bad for Ivanka, who has worked to build a reputation as an advocate for young working women. If these women continue to have a negative impression of her, Ivanka may need to rethink her strategy for convincing them that she is serious about her mission of empowerment.

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