In February, former first lady Barbara Bush said she didn't understand how women could vote for the 70-year-old real estate mogul.
But the Republican presidential candidate has lots of female supporters and even after the firestorm over his lewd remarks, they are not abandoning him with a month to go before Election Day.
"We're not voting to find the best husband. We're looking for a strong leader," said 63-year-old Christina Lachimia who, like Trump, works in the real estate industry.
"It doesn't make me not want to vote for him."
Lachimia was one of several members of the Santa Monica chapter of the National Federation of Republican Women who gathered Sunday to watch the second debate between Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
All those present thought the 70-year-old Trump delivered a punishing blow to the former secretary of state, bouncing back from a weekend of controversy that sent fed-up Republican lawmakers fleeing from his campaign.
"I think he won the debate. He definitively stopped the bleeding," said Linda Grossman, 60, at a home in Santa Monica, a tony suburb of Los Angeles, where the viewing party took place.
For Kari Czer, 65, Trump showed drastic improvement from his performance in the first televised debate between the candidates, when he was "pulling punches."
"This time, he realized she's going for the jugular," Czer told AFP.
About 20 members of the Santa Monica Republican club gathered to watch Sunday's town hall-style debate -- one of the ugliest in recent US political history, full of personal attacks.
With plenty of pizza, soft drinks and wine on hand, the women -- and a few men -- sat in three rows of chairs, watching the proceedings on a giant flat-screen television.
They applauded with gusto and shouted "Yes!" when Trump fired salvos at Clinton, and booed her numerous times, along with cries of "She's lying!" and "Shut up!"