Trump wants to scare suburban white women back into his arms. Wanna guess how that's going?
The Trump campaign is cratering in the polls, riven by internal division, and trapped both by two generational crisis—the movement for racial justice, and a global mass-death pandemic. And while there is theoretically time for impeached racist Donald Trump to turn things around, he won’t. He can’t. He is utterly incapable of understanding the moment, and the kind of leadership necessary to navigate it.
His core electoral problem? He’s gotten hit among some of his core constituencies, such as seniors and non-college whites. Republicans, in general, suffered from greater participation among core Democratic constituencies in the last three years, chief among them, Black voters, but also youth, Latinos, and other voters of color. But nothing has electorally hurt Republicans than the loss of suburban college-educated white women. They’re the reason Democrat Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House, the reason Democrats won governorships in blood-red Kentucky and Louisiana last year, as well as total control of Virginia government. They’re the reason Trump was already hurting in the polls.
And calling “Black Lives Matter” signs a “symbol of hate” and ranting about “chaos” in the streets isn’t bringing back those voters, or anyone else he’s lost.
Trump’s argument is simple: the same argument that launched his campaign, and the same argument he trotted out in his hate-spewing Fourth of July speech at Mt. Rushmore. It’s “the blacks and browns are coming for you.”
Campaign aides said they expect backlash against the progressive “cancel culture” movement to help Trump's standing… https://t.co/JHUI3RJU8F— Annie Karni (@Annie Karni)1593904405.0
This is the reason conservatives have rallied around the odious St. Louis couple that pointed their guns at protesters peacefully marching past their house. This is their worldview, one of being under siege, and playing into every historically racist trope about rapist dark hoodlums coming after virginally pure white blonde girls.
And in his Fox News and Twitter bubble, Trump saw an opening he could fully embrace—he mustered up every bit of his innate racist and despotic tendencies, firmly rooted in the foundational premise of the modern GOP (the politics of racial division and grievance), and let loose: “We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our [confederate traitor] statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms,” arguing that protesters were “not interested in justice or healing.” While the nation both laughed and recoiled at the cartoonish buffoonery of these retrograde assholes, conservatives applauded enthusiastically. Finally someone was standing up to the lawless hordes rampaging through America’s cities!
This speech was written by top Trump advisor and white supremacist Stephen Miller, all of it designed to capture an expected backlash from those white suburban women that have so fucked Republican. Yet that backlash is a fantasy. It simply doesn’t exist.
While we don’t have specific numbers for suburban white woman vs others, we can glean information on white women overall—a group Trump won 52-43 in 2016. And as of today, they support Black Lives Matter by a 49-34 margin. And white Republican white women have backslid a bit (they never really supported it much), white independent women are still solidly supportive.
People often criticize politicians for putting their finger up in the air to measure which way the wind is blowing—that is, they’re too easily swayed by public opinion. In this case, Trump is facing a gale wind of opposition, and has decided to double down. “Black Lives Matter” signs are a “symbol of hate,” and racial justice activists are “an angry mob.” And meanwhile, white women almost everywhere, and particularly in the battleground states, are looking at Trump as if he’s lost his mind.
Is it any wonder that Democratic presumptive nominee Joe Biden is nothing gaudy leads in these battleground states, despite having the most (justifiably) invisible campaign in modern history? White women support Black Lives Matter 53-29 in Wisconsin, 52-30 in Michigan, 49-34 in Pennsylvania, 50-34 in Iowa, 48-39 in Alaska, and 46-38 in Arizona. (And yes, Alaska and Montana, 50-32, are threatening to become battleground states).
Meanwhile, when it comes to the biggest issue facing white suburban women today—that mass death event that has already killed over 132,000 Americans (and counting), the numbers get worse for Trump by the day:
And more important than those topline numbers, Trump’s coronavirus approval ratings in the battleground states among white women is simply abysmal:
Republicans can take some solace that Trump’s federal coronavirus response remains in positive territory among white women in Texas and Georgia, but that won’t save their presidential electoral map. In fact, outside of the Deep South, West Virginia, and Wyoming, those white women sure aren’t happy.
What does that mean, in the end? It means that Trump has among the worst ratings of his entire presidency, per our Civiqs daily tracker, at a woeful 41-55. And among those white women that Trump thinks will be scared back into his arms?
Remember, Trump won these voters 52-43 in 2016. That 9-point lead is now an 8-point deficit, and he barely won in 2016. How the hell is he going to claw back those 17-net points he’s lost with white women, if he can’t even properly diagnose the cause of their discontent?
Trump’s nightmare reign has obviously motivated groups far beyond these white women—we can expect record turnout among our own core demographics—youth, voters of color, and urban whites. We don’t have to guess at it, we saw it happen already in 2018. But Trump-supporting group has moved as sharply against the orange stain in the White House than these white women. And the Trump campaign’s explicit attempts to bring them back into the fold is, by all objective measures, a hopeless cause.