Republican ‘Wal-Mart moms’ pessimistic about economy, Trump

Updated

Republican women are extremely pessimistic about the state of the country, especially the economy, a focus group of “Wal-Mart moms” revealed. The mothers were equally as pessimistic about Donald Trump.

The Wal-Mart mom demographic, which consists of women who have at least one child under 18 living at home and have shopped at Wal-Mart in the past month, have become a highly coveted voting bloc. They are swing voters who tend to decide on their candidate late, but they have also supported the winning candidate or party in every election since 2008, except in 2014 when they supported Democrats in the mid-term elections.

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The group of 10 Republican women in New Hampshire expressed deep dissatisfaction with the state of the country.

When asked for one word or a short phrase to describe how things are going in the country, all 10 respondents gave deeply negative answers, including: unrest, awful, horrible, crappy and frightening.

While the national debt was a concern, the main issue was their personal financial security. The women, whose household incomes range from $25,000 to $150,000, vocalized the intense stress they feel of their financial situation, with two women admitting to crying when they have to pay bills. They pointed to the cost of health care and everyday expenses such as food and heat.

A similar focus group was of Democratic Wal-Mart moms in Des Moines, Iowa, also felt squeezed financially, but they were less pessimistic.

Terms the women used to describe the state of the country include: could be better, debt, scary, divided, horrible, gotten better since the recession.

Some Democratic women even expressed optimism, saying things had gotten better in the past eight years, and they want the next president to continue the progress President Obama made.

“I would hate to see someone come in and undue what (President Obama) did,” one woman said.

Down on Trump

As for presidential candidates, the Republican women had overwhelmingly negative attitudes toward Trump.

“I think it’s insulting that Donald trump is even on the stage,” one woman said. “My children are watching the debates and even my 5-year-old says, ‘Is he joking or is he for real because you can’t talk to people like that?’”

Trump has criticized women’s looks, including fellow presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. He called the head of the Democratic National Committee “crazy” and “neurotic” and openly fought with Fox Host Megyn Kelly after she asked him about how he speaks to women. Trump has promised to be “phenomenal” to women if he becomes president but that message hasn’t gotten through to these women.

“Trump might be good but then he starts talking,” another woman said.

And another said this: “He’s so insulting.”

Trump has criticized women’s looks, including fellow presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. He called the head of the Democratic National Committee “crazy” and “neurotic” and openly fought with Fox Host Megyn Kelly after she asked him about how he speaks to women. Trump has promised to be “phenomenal” to women if he becomes president.

Only one woman in the room was a Trump supporter and one other was considering supporting him.

The view of the women does not reflect the outspoken real estate mogul’s polling results where the latest New Hampshire poll by WBUR shows Trump leading with 18% to Ben Carson’s 16%. In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier this week, Trump garnered 23% behind Carson’s 29% support.

Carson, the former pediatric neurosurgeon, was a favorite among the Republican women.

When Carson’s name was mentioned, a collective “ahhhh” was heard as if a picture of a baby panda was just shown.

The women described him as “gentle” and “caring.”

Seven of the women said they were considering Carson. The only other candidate to do better in the group was Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Nine women said they were considering voting for him.

While the women seemed to like Bush, they couldn’t get past his last name. Words used to describe him were “kind” and “genuine,” with one woman calling him “the best Bush,” but most didn’t see themselves supporting him.

“Jeb Bush will never get my vote. No one wants to see another Bush/Clinton match up,” one woman said.

Clinton’s Challenge

This Democratic women highlighted that Hillary Clinton still has work to do among women. While she did have support in the group, including one ardent supporter, words used to describe her were “shady” and “shifty” and one said that she “sold out.”

She was, however, also called “strong” and “confident” and “intelligent.”

Despite Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ large campaign crowds and grassroots support, about half of these women didn’t know much about him. Among those who did, he was described as someone with “conviction” and “passionate” and “consistent.”

There are “not too many things people can say he flip-flopped on,” one woman said.

He was also described as “wise” and “like a dad or a grandpa.”

One woman, however, called him “extreme.”

Not one woman said she was considering Martin O’Malley. 

This article first appeared on NBCNews.com

Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

Republican 'Wal-Mart moms' pessimistic about economy, Trump

Updated