Poll: Half of US women have 'very unfavorable' view of Trump

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New Poll Reveals Half of All Women Don't Like Donald Trump

NEW YORK, March 17 (Reuters) - Real estate billionaire Donald Trump's coarse rhetoric has won him some fans, but there's at least one large group in America that is increasingly unimpressed: women.

Half of U.S. women say they have a "very unfavorable" view of the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling, up from the 40 percent who felt that way in October. The survey was taken from March 1-15, and included 5,400 respondents.

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The rise in anti-Trump sentiment among women could pose a problem for the New York billionaire in his quest for the White House. Women form just over half of the U.S. population, and they have turned out at higher rates than men in every election since 1996, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"If the presidential election were tomorrow, women would be a big problem for Trump," Republican strategist David Carney said. "But he has time to fix it."

A Trump campaign official did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Trump has said that he has had good relationships with women in his business career and is well-liked by women voters.

See Trump with some of his strongest supporters:

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Donald Trump rallies - Friday, Saturday
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Poll: Half of US women have 'very unfavorable' view of Trump
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responds to supporters during his rally at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
Security removes protesters after one of many interruptions during Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's rally at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
Protesters interrupt Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during his remarks at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: A protester yells as he is escorted out of a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the CFE Arena during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Central Florida on March 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: People listen as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the CFE Arena during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Central Florida on March 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the CFE Arena during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Central Florida on March 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump signs the arm of a young lady at the CFE Arena during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Central Florida on March 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A group of young Muslims stage a small protest as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes the stage for a campaign rally during the Kansas GOP caucus at Century II in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Anti-Trump demonstrator Bill Anderson protests outside Century II, where the Republican presdential caucus took place, in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses his supporters at rally during the Kansas GOP caucus at Century II in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Anti-Trump supporters demonstrate outside Century II, where the Republican presdential caucus took place, in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY- MARCH 5: Evelyn Stalevicz shows her support for Donald Trump as voters lined up to vote in the GOP presidential caucus at Zachary Taylor Elementary school March 5, 2016, in Louisville, Kentucky. This would be the state of Kentucky's first-ever Republican Presidential Caucus, participating in Presidential Primaries in May alongside other states. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
Donald Trump supporters acknowledge their candidate as he takes the stage inside Century II, where the Republican presdential caucus took place, in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
A Donald Trump supporter raises his sign inside Century II, where the Republican presdential caucus took place, in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Donald Trump supporters and protesters clash outside Century II, where the Republican presdential caucus took place, in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Donald Trump supporters cheer for their man inside Century II, where the Republican presdential caucus took place, in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
Supporters cheer at the Trump For President rally at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the CFE Arena during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Central Florida on March 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 5: A Donald Trump supporter stands in line to vote during the states Republican caucus on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas. People were standing in line for more than two hours to vote in the caucus. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 5: A man shows his support as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made a speech at a campaign rally on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas where the Republican party was staging one of its statewide caucus. Trump spoke of making America great again. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 5: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes a speech at a campaign rally on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas. The Republican party was holding its state wide caucus in several locations. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 5: An anti-Trump protester stands outside the convention center where Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made a speech at a campaign rally on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas. About 100 protesters voiced their opposition to Trump. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 5: A veteran showed his support as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made a speech at a campaign rally on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas where the Republican party was staging one of its statewide caucus. Trump said he would help veterans. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
A protester chanting "Black Lives Matter" is escorted away as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, background, speaks at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
WICHITA, KS - MARCH 5: Supporters displays their signs as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes a speech at a campaign rally on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas. The Republican party was holding its state wide caucus in several locations. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a child he pulled from the crowd as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A protester and activist holds a sign for the "Islam Against Terrorism" before a campaign rally, Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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Several women who oppose Trump, interviewed by Reuters this week, said their disapproval was based on a range of factors from his disparaging comments about women he dislikes - such as Fox News host Megyn Kelly - to his hard-line views on immigration and his ribald exchanges with rivals.

"I think Trump is very scary," said Mariah Dobias, a 25-year-old cook who was voting in Ohio's primary on Tuesday. "He says he is going to make America great, but he doesn't say how he is going to do it besides alienating whole groups of people."

Carolyn Hostetler, a conservative from Tennessee, told Reuters she disliked "the way he has belittled women."

Some of Trump's female supporters, meanwhile, said they liked his straight talk, and believe he could strengthen America's position on the world stage.

"He's a little unpredictable, as we've seen," said Kathleen Douglas, a 65-year-old college professor from Winter Park, Florida who supports Trump. "He's going to put other world leaders on edge."

Trump does not have a similar image problem with men. The Reuters/Ipsos polling results showed that just 36 percent of men said they have a "very unfavorable" opinion of Trump, a level that has held steady in recent months.

Republican women are also much more likely to approve of Trump, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling. Among women who identify as Republican, he has been holding around 60 percent favorability since the start of the year.

Trump's relative appeal among men versus women was evident in the most recent round of nominating contests on Tuesday, when Trump extended a broad lead over rivals.

In Florida, exit polls conducted by Edison Research showed that Trump's support among Republican women voters was 40 percent, versus 52 percent among males. In Ohio, where Trump came in second to the state's governor, John Kasich, 33 percent of women voters backed Trump, compared with 40 percent of men.

If the GOP frontrunner were to run against Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton in the general election, likely women voters would support Clinton over Trump by nearly 14 percentage points, according to the March polling data. Among men, Clinton would win by about 5 percentage points.

At a precinct in Florida's Winter Park, Darlene Monzadeh, a 52-year-old stay-at-home mom who had been a supporter of Jeb Bush, said Trump lost her vote during a debate when he exchanged potshots with his rivals.

"It changed my opinion. When they catfight all the time and act like little boys, pointing fingers, raising voices," she said, adding she now supports Kasich.

Trump has been accused by critics of misogyny since he launched his campaign. He complained last year that Fox News host Megyn Kelly had asked him tough questions in a debate and referred to "blood coming out of her wherever." He more recently sent a Twitter post suggesting she was a "bimbo."

He has called television personality Rosie O'Donnell a "fat pig" and made fun of former presidential rival and ex-HP chief executive Carly Fiorina's face, saying, "Would anyone vote for that?"

An anti-Trump attack ad launched by the Our Principles Super PAC this week featured women repeating words that Trump has used to describe women, including "fat pig" and "dog."

Several of his female supporters defended Trump against the ad on social media.

See protesters at recent Trump events:

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Protesters get Trump rally postponed
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Poll: Half of US women have 'very unfavorable' view of Trump
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 11: Demonstrators celebrate after it was announced that a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago would be postponed on March 11, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Organizers postponed the rally citing safety reasons after hundreds of demonstrators were ticketed for the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 11: Demonstrators celebrate after it was announced that a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago would be postponed on March 11, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Organizers postponed the rally citing safety reasons after hundreds of demonstrators were ticketed for the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 11: A ripped campaign poster sits on the floor after it was announced that a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago would be postponed on March 11, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Organizers postponed the rally citing safety reasons after hundreds of demonstrators were ticketed for the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 11: Demonstrators celebrate after it was announced that a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago would be postponed on March 11, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Organizers postponed the rally citing safety reasons after hundreds of demonstrators were ticketed for the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 11: An activist is removed by police after it was announced that a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago would be postponed on March 11, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Organizers postponed the rally citing safety reasons after hundreds of demonstrators were ticketed for the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 11: A campaign worker guards the podium after it was announced that a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago would be postponed on March 11, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Organizers postponed the rally citing safety reasons after hundreds of demonstrators were ticketed for the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 11: Police clear the stadium after it was announced that a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago would be postponed on March 11, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Organizers postponed the rally citing safety reasons after hundreds of demonstrators were ticketed for the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 11: Demonstrators celebrate after it was announced that a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago would be postponed on March 11, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Organizers postponed the rally citing safety reasons after hundreds of demonstrators were ticketed for the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A demonstrator is removed by Chicago police during a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago on Friday, March 11, 2016. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
A protestor holds a ripped Donald Trump sign up before the start of a rally for the Republican presidential candidate at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago on Friday, March 11, 2016. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Protestors wearing shirts reading 'Muslims United Against Trump' are escorted out the UIC Pavilion in Chicago prior to the start of a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago on Friday, March 11, 2016. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, face off with protesters after a rally on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago was cancelled due to security concerns Friday, March 11, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Protesters against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump shout at Trump supporters after it was announced that the candidate's rally was canceled due to security concerns, on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago, Friday, March 11, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Protesters against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump chant 'Bernie, Bernie, and We Stopped Trump,' after a rally on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago, was canceled Friday, March 11, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Protestors march in Chicago on Friday, March 11, 2016, before a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois-Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Protestors march in Chicago on Friday, March 11, 2016, before a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois-Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Protestor Sanko Hampton marches in Chicago on Friday, March 11, 2016, before a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois-Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Protestor Sanko Hampton displays an American flag in Chicago on Friday, March 11, 2016, before a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois-Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Protesters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, chant after a rally on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago, was canceled due to security concerns Friday, March 11, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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