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Matt Gaetz says MAGA movement is fine losing the ‘Karen’ vote, because it can pick up ‘a Julio and a Jamal’

Karen's on the panhandle weren't pleased.


Katherine Huggins


Posted on Jan 18, 2024   Updated on Jan 18, 2024, 9:22 am CST

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is unconcerned that the MAGA movement could lose women voters ahead of the 2024 election, telling Newsmax that “for every Karen we lose, there’s a Julio and a Jamal ready to sign up.”

Gaetz praised the “relentlessness and a persistence in the Trump campaign,” and cited Monday’s Iowa GOP caucus results as evidence of “the resiliency of the Trump voter.”

“Because you had the worst conditions possible, historically, challenging weather and ice, and these folks came out and voted overwhelmingly for the president,” Gaetz said.

In Iowa, Trump secured 51% of the caucus vote—though voter turnout among registered Republicans in the state was less than 15%.

“I met with a lot of those folks. This is the blue collar realignment of the Republican party,” Gaetz continued. “And what I can tell you is for every Karen we lose, there’s a Julio and a Jamal ready to sign up for the MAGA movement and that bodes well for our ability to be more diverse and to be more durable as we head into not only the rest of the primary contests but also the general election.”

Gaetz’s comment was met with backlash from Republican women online, with one X user writing: “Your entire voter base in the panhandle is white women, including me. Good luck finding a Jamal and Julio around here to replace us.”

“If true, then there really is no need for ‘unity’. You can just replace us all with ‘Julio and a Jamal’,” wrote a user whose bio describes her as a DeSantis supporter. “You keep telling us we aren’t necessary and do not matter. So be it.”

Christina Pushaw, rapid response director for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who finished second in Iowa to Trump, similarly pushed back.

Gaetz responded to Pushaw saying, “Well…..not *every* white woman is a Karen…”

The former president has indeed been gaining among Latino voters, with a recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll finding Trump’s support within that demographic is at 39%, compared to President Joe Biden’s 34%. That marks a key shift from 2020, when Biden’s approval among Latino voters hit 65%.

Indian-Americans overwhelming (68%) identify as Democrats or lean Democrat, Pew Research Center reported last year. Similarly, Blacks voters overwhelmingly supported Biden in 2020. It’s unclear what specific ethnicity, though, Gaetz was referring to in saying “Jamal.”

However, there may not be that many “Karens” turning against Trump anyway. In 2020, he won 44% of women voters—up from 39% in 2016. And polling shows little shift since then, with a survey of registered voters conducted mid-January finding 42% of women holding a favorable opinion of Trump (compared to Biden’s 44%).

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*First Published: Jan 18, 2024, 9:17 am CST