Juan Williams: The GOP's worsening problem with women

Take a look at the most telling Republican quotes on women from the last three years:

“Such a nasty woman!” — then-candidate Donald Trump describing his opponent Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGraham: McCain 'acted appropriately' by handing Steele dossier to FBI Why Mueller's hedge on obstruction decision was a mistake Giuliani says news media treat Dems better than GOP MORE during the 2016 campaign.

“Nevertheless, she persisted.” — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems eye next stage in Mueller fight House Oversight Dem wants Trump to release taxes and 'get it over with' Senate rejection of Green New Deal won't slow Americans' desire for climate action MORE (R-Ky.) in 2017, explaining why he stopped Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJam-packed primary poses a serious threat to Democrats in 2020 Pence hits 2020 Dems for skipping AIPAC Poll: Biden, Sanders lead Trump in Iowa MORE (D-Mass.) from saying anything more in a debate on the Senate floor.

And, for 2018, the winner emerged just this month:

“NEWSFLASH. I wasn’t asking for permission.”

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That’s Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikConservation remains a core conservative principle The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration 13 House Republicans who bucked Trump on emergency declaration MORE (R-N.Y.) firing back on Twitter after the new chief of the House GOP’s campaign committee — a man — said she made a “mistake” by calling on the GOP to recruit more women to run for Congress in 2020.

Keep in mind that the House GOP caucus is more than 90 percent male. When the 116th Congress convenes in January, Stefanik will be one of just 13 Republican women in the House, the lowest number in 20 years.

It is hard to ignore the contrast with Democrats.

There will be 89 Democratic women in the House next year — 35 newly elected in the midterms, including the first two Muslim congresswomen and the first two Native American congresswomen. The GOP has only one woman in an overwhelmingly white freshman class.

But Rep. Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerProgressive demands put new pressures on Democrats Schultz recruiting GOP insiders ahead of possible 2020 bid Elise Stefanik seeks to tackle GOP’s women ‘crisis’ ahead of 2020 MORE (R-Minn.), the campaign chairman, complained Stefanik was playing identity politics based on “gender, race and religion,” instead of looking for the best candidate.

Some Republican women sided with Stefanik.

Rep. Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackLamar Alexander's exit marks end of an era in evolving Tennessee Juan Williams: The GOP's worsening problem with women How to reform the federal electric vehicle tax credit MORE (R-Tenn.) said Emmer “is wrong on this one.”

And in an interview with The Hill, retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenThe women in white and the trails they blaze Lobbying World Former GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop MORE (R-Fla.) said flatly, “Wake up, dudes!”

“I encourage our party leaders to be more aggressive in seeking out and helping younger candidates, female candidates and candidates of color," she added.

The Trump Party’s problem with women got worse last week when Speaker-designate Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems eye next stage in Mueller fight After Mueller, Democrats need to avoid the Javert trap More than a half-million web articles published on Russia, Trump, Mueller since investigation began: analysis MORE (D-Calif.) held her ground in a face-to-face confrontation with the president.

He tried to “mansplain” by saying she was still looking for support in her caucus to be elected as Speaker and therefore did not have the power to make a deal in any negotiation over funding for a border wall.

She did not back down, telling Trump he was out of line to question her ability to speak for House Democrats.

In the Senate, the Republican problem with women is only slightly better than it is in the House.

Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstCrenshaw to Trump: 'Stop talking about McCain' Stop asking parents to sacrifice Social Security benefits for paid family leave Senate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court MORE (R-Iowa) was recently chosen by her colleagues to serve as vice chairwoman of the Senate Republican Conference, giving a woman a seat at the table in Senate GOP leadership for the first time in eight years.

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But Ernst’s rise can’t hide the reality: Of 24 female senators next year, just seven will be Republican, even though the GOP has a 53-member majority.

After Arizona Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyArpaio's wife recovering after rattlesnake bite in Arizona Former astronaut running for Senate in Arizona returns money from paid speech in UAE The Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game MORE (R) lost her bid for a Senate seat — to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema — McSally’s campaign strategists detailed how Trump’s toxicity among female voters contributed to her loss.

“In internal polling during the primary, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'Haven't thought about' pardons for Mueller target Pence: Rocket attack 'proves that Hamas is not a partner for peace' Conservation remains a core conservative principle MORE never broke 80% favorability among Republican voters. A certain segment of [Arizona] Republicans was outright hostile to President Trump, and was against the Kavanaugh appointment,” read a post-mortem memo obtained by The Washington Post.

In fact, female voters nationwide favored Democrats by 19 points according to exit polls, while male voters favored Republicans by four points — a 23-point gender gap.

The problem is Trump, and it goes back to his win in the 2016 election.

According to the 2016 exit polls, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton carried all female voters by 13 points over Trump in 2016 — though Trump won white women by 9 points.

Keep in mind this was after the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape surfaced, on which Trump boasted about grabbing women’s genitals.

An American University/Benenson Strategy Group poll released this month found that 71 percent of white suburban women were “concerned” about the way Trump speaks about women.

The poll found 60 percent of female voters view Trump unfavorably. And perhaps most challenging for the president’s reelection hopes, almost two-thirds of independent female voters view him unfavorably.

Trump’s supporters are heavily male but among women who still self-identify as Republican, 55 percent said they agree with Trump on important issues.

Those women are among the small but stable base of about 40 percent of voters who support Trump. The problem for the GOP is the growing number of women who are independents or Democrats. They are moving away from him.

In the age of Trump, Republican strategists know the party’s lack of support from women spells trouble for 2020 and beyond.

Democratic strategists argue support from female voters — especially minority women — is at the heart of the party’s future.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandJam-packed primary poses a serious threat to Democrats in 2020 Klobuchar pressing Barr on release of Mueller report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Mueller report is huge win for President Trump MORE (D-N.Y.), was ridiculed by conservatives earlier this month for tweeting, “Our future is: Female Intersectional Powered by our belief in one another. And we’re just getting started.”

They can make fun of her talk about “intersectional” issues. But political analysts from every point on the political spectrum can see Gillibrand is right about the rising political power of female voters.

Wake up, dudes. Seriously.

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel. His latest book, "'What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?' — Trump's War on Civil Rights" is out now, published by Public Affairs Books.