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Ivanka Trump's Popularity Could Help Her Father Win Over Women


We talked about Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka being the one who will introducing him tonight on the convention stage, and we're going to explore her background a little more. She's known as a confidant in his presidential campaign and was co-star on her father's former reality TV show "The Apprentice." She's also created a solo reputation as a businesswoman with her own fashion line. NPR's Asma Khalid reports on how she could be her dad's No. 1 surrogate.

ASMA KHALID, BYLINE: Ivanka Trump is thought to be one of her dad's most influential advisers, a person who can convince him to hire or fire someone. But in the public eye, she sounds very different than her dad. Where Donald is blunt, she is careful. Here's how the 34-year-old described her father to a reporter from Fortune magazine.


IVANKA TRUMP: He's very candid, I probably not as likely to say what's on my mind, and I think most people aren't. It's not something I would want to always be doing. So that's why I'm not a politician.

KHALID: But Ivanka has street cred where her dad struggles with women.


TRUMP: You know, for me, I think the way he raised me, the way he raised Tiffany, it's a testament to the fact that he believes in inspiring women, empowering women.

KHALID: That was Ivanka on CNN in April. Polls show a majority of women have an unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump. The big question is, can Ivanka convince some to vote for her dad? I went to a party the other night hosted by the RightNOW Women's PAC which works to get Republican women into office, and that's where I met Libby Wuller. I asked her how she first heard of Ivanka.

LIBBY WULLER: I own her shoes (laughter).

KHALID: Wuller is no fan of Donald Trump and his rhetoric about women.

WULLER: Independent of her dad, she's intelligent. She's strong-willed. She has an entrepreneurial spirit. As being a young woman that is working in the startup space, those are qualities that I admire in her.

KHALID: Do you feel like she could help win you over or win your support over?

WULLER: No, no. I mean she's not the one in the White House.

KHALID: But Larissa Martinez says Ivanka could influence the campaign.

LARISSA MARTINEZ: I think she could actually help her father and her father's operation when it comes to outreach to women because I think there's a lot of Republican women that identify with some of the balances with family versus professional. She's very eloquent. She speaks very well. And I think that she could help kind of mold the way that he talks to women.

KHALID: I met quite a few young women who feel lukewarm about Donald Trump but couldn't stop gushing about his daughter. At a millennial town hall here in Cleveland, there were about a hundred young Republicans in the crowd, and they unanimously agreed Ivanka is their favorite member of the Trump family. Gaby Luurs is 22. She admires Ivanka Trump's beauty and poise. She says the appeal has nothing to do with political issues.

GABY LUURS: She probably keeps her thoughts to herself a little more than her dad does. But I don't know her views on everything, and I don't think anyone really does who's super close to her unless - because she kind of keeps it to herself.

KHALID: Isabel Reid is not sure she'll vote for Donald Trump. She says Ivanka will not be her deciding factor. But on the other hand, she likes that Ivanka is a close adviser.

ISABEL REID: I like her. She comes off as being intelligent, a smart businesswoman and someone (laughter) who's probably more informed than her father, even.

KHALID: It seems she can't flip votes, but she could solidify support. And tonight when she addresses the Republican Convention, Ivanka, more than anyone else, might be the one to humanize her dad to skeptical voters. Asma Khalid, NPR News, Cleveland. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Asma Khalid
Asma Khalid is a White House correspondent for NPR. She also co-hosts The NPR Politics Podcast.