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Cleveland • Donald Trump's chances for winning the White House may hinge on his ability to win support from women, a group that polls show has deep-seated dislike for the nominee feelings that are shared by some in Utah's delegation at the Republican National Convention this week.
"It's a matter of respect," said delegate Marianne Henderson, of Alpine. "I think the way he speaks about women, some of his behavior in his personal life, you know, it's not respectful and he doesn't really address it.
"If somebody makes a mistake or says something in the past, that's fine, but if they don't address it or he doesn't correct it, it's hard to imagine he's really any different," she said.
Trump has a track record of public comments deemed offensive to women. He has had much publicized past run-ins with actress Rosie O'Donnell, suggested former GOP candidate Carly Fiorina was too ugly to win the party's nomination and called Fox News host Megyn Kelly a "bimbo" who had "blood coming out of her wherever" when she questioned him about his comments about women.
A poll for The Salt Lake Tribune and Hinckley Institute of Politics last month found that Trump actually trailed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in red-state Utah by five points among women, 37 percent to 32 percent.
"For me, I don't think it should be a [matter of] female voter or male voter or anything else. If he is a bigot then that should be everybody's problem," said Kera Birkeland, a delegate from Mountain Green. "It should be a man's problem, too. If he's degrading to women, that should be just as degrading and shameful to men as it is to women. So to me, if he is rude to any race or gender, that's a problem."
Trump's deficit is even more pronounced nationally. A Pew Research Center Poll conducted last month showed Clinton crushing Trump among female voters, 59 percent to 35 percent.
A more recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showed the lead closer, 52 percent to 38 percent, but if even that margin holds in November, it will be the largest gender gap in electoral history larger than the 11-point margin Bill Clinton had when he defeated Sen. Bob Dole in 1996.
"He's very irrational about how he speaks about women," said former state Rep. Sylvia Andersen. "I just can't imagine, in all honesty, a person using some of the language he has used referring to anyone, any of the statements he's made about people he doesn't like. I just can't even fathom it."
The Republican National Convention has featured several female speakers most notably Trump's wife, Melania Trump, who lauded the candidate as a concerned father and husband.
His children also are scheduled for speaking roles in the remaining days, which may serve to further humanize the party's nominee.
On Tuesday, Trump's daughter from his second marriage, Tiffany Trump, was particularly notable in filling that role.
"He's always helped me be the best version of myself, by encouragement and by example," the recent college graduate told the convention. "He motivates me to work my hardest and to always stay true to who I am and what I believe. That's what he does he draws out the talent and drive in people. That's a great quality to have in a father and, better yet, in a president of the United States."
Delegate and former state Rep. Merlyn Newbold said she believes Melania Trump performed well on a difficult stage, but she remains bothered by Trump's actions broadly, not just about women.
"I think there's been so many incidences across the spectrum," Newbold said. "He treats a lot of people differently, outside the social norms, so to focus on one issue is unfair because there's a lot of things he does that are different than a lot of the rest of us would handle the same situation."
Utah first lady Jeanette Herbert said she thinks Trump makes inflammatory statements because it gets a reaction from people, but she is more interested in his actions toward women.
"I think he's made some comments that were very inappropriate, but ... it seems like in his business atmosphere and everything, he's given them good jobs and most of the people who have worked for him have great respect," she said. "He says things that are inappropriate, and you try to put that aside it's not always easy but I don't have great concern."
Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton said she hopes to learn more about where Trump really is on issues like abortion, but she is not swayed by what she has heard from the candidate so far, including Melania Trump's praise of her husband Monday night.
"I mean, Trump is kind of cast as a male chauvinist to a lot of women and his comments haven't helped him a whole lot," she said. "I was hoping last night that, 'Oh, maybe his wife's speech will help me feel better.' And then you see this model up there who's 24 years younger than him and obviously wealthy by her appearance and I just feel like these people can't relate to me. So it doesn't make me feel any better."