Why Trump’s blunt didn’t appeal to suburban voters


President Trump’s latest campaign ads warn the leftist mob destroying American cities. His recent White House comments show a “radical movement” to stop the violence and dissolve the police. His Twitter feed emphasizes the Obama-era fair housing rule, which he described as a “threat”.Suburban housewives of america” And this “Suburban lifestyle dream. “

All of this, with a little subtlety, is a play on the perceived fear of suburban voters. But there are reasons to believe that a strategy that worked on the heels of urban unrest in 1968 for Richard Nixon is less likely to be effective for Donald Trump in 2020.

For one, these are not American suburbs of the 1960s (and they have very few housewives). The scale of urban violence and the threat to its suburban lifestyle is a serious echo of that time. And polling shows that while suburban voters generally disapprove of the president’s job, they reject even more their efforts to deal with the issues they are trying to raise.

According to the New York Times / Siena College election in June, only 38 percent of voters in the suburb approved Mr. Trump’s job performance, compared to 59 percent. Suburban voters disapproved of Mr. Trump’s recent protests and race relations to deal with an even wider gap, and 65 percent had a favorable view of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The President’s attention to suburban areas is understandable. About half of voters live in a suburb, defined here as parts of metropolitan areas that are located outside central cities such as Philadelphia or Baltimore, and are not considered rural by the Census Bureau. In a Times / Sienna poll, Mr. Trump trailed Joe Biden by 16 points, 51 percent to 35 percent, in suburban areas, worse than his eight-point decrease in 2016 against Hillary Clinton in similar areas.

The president’s loss in the suburbs is from his long-term weakness among white voters with a four-year college degree, which Mr. Biden, 57-31, has returned to the suburbs.

Fifty years ago, white voters with college degrees were a rare rarity in the suburbs as well. White voters who fled cities often held blue-collar industrial jobs, and many adopted Republican messages on crime and race. To some extent they still do: White voters without a degree in the suburbs return Mr. Trump in a Times / Sienna poll, 52 percent to 35 percent, but only 37 percent of the registered voters he surveyed in the suburbs Made it

If white suburban voters in general are President Trump’s audience for his recent legislation — and the message, the scenes in Port, Ore. Only complicate his pitch. White suburban mothers watching around the country have not seen criminals kill, but women who like them very much.

Written in detail on the Nixon era, a historian Rick Perlestein said, “The pictures that are emerging in the public’s mind are a line of mothers taking tearful gas.” “Or a 53-year-old naval vet asking people to honor their oath to the United States Constitution.”

Dad is also involved with the leaf blower. And peaceful protesters who were violently cleared from Lafayette Square outside the White House in June for a presidential photo op may represent one of Mr. Trump’s permanent scenes of the presidency.

At this moment, President Trump also significantly split from Nixon in 1968. Nixon was not yet President; He was not in charge. Mr. Perelstein said that when it is on your watch, it is very difficult to run against the clutter. And reducing the fear of crime and violence was less effective for President Nixon than later for his presidency for that reason.

In recent decades, cities have become safer, and suburbs have become much more racially and economically diverse. They have also been the site of the Black Lives Matter protest. One in 10 suburban voters in the Times / Siena poll said they participated in such a demonstration. A clear majority of suburban voters also said they believed there was widespread police violence toward African-Americans in the US and widespread patterns of prejudice against them in the criminal justice system.

For white suburban voters who still live in isolated communities, historian Matthew Lassiter said the threat to suburban boycott is much weaker than it is today, when President Nixon was elected. At that time, the bus was on the table. So it was likely that the designation schemes could send students to neighboring school districts along the lines of the city. Courts were still considering whether it was constitutional for wealthy districts to spend more on education than poor people, or for suburban municipalities to keep low-income housing.

“The threat of widespread reorganization of suburban privilege was real in the late ’60s and early’ 70s, as it was coming from the courts, and it was coming from civil rights litigants who had a federal judiciary that was all the way Said Mr. Lassiter, a professor at the University of Michigan.

This was true until President Nixon imposed four judgments in the Supreme Court, which killed many of those measures for racial and economic segregation. Today, it is less effective to warn that anyone is coming to destroy the “suburban lifestyle dream” of schools and single-family neighborhoods because the politicians and white voters of the previous generation were very successful in protecting it. Were.

Today President Trump’s warning – that Mr. Biden would defy police, and take federal control of local zoning laws – weighs considerably less. Mr. Biden has said that he does not support defending the police. And the Obama-era fair-housing rule, which the Trump administration announced to end last week, is both bureaucratic and incremental that would easily be wiped out as boogeyman. Its main goal was to consider the pattern of segregation of local governments in their planning.

Sometimes President Trump is himself The way of describing was uncertain What’s so scary about that, Except those arguments To be op-ed by others. If anything, his views on the subject may teach some liberal and liberal voters that his yard, opposing affordable housing and intensive zoning, put him in awkward alignment with President Trump.

Historians who look at the Nixon era say that this president is unlikely to succeed with white suburban voters for one more reason: he’s about to be President Nixon, or Vice President Spiro Agnew, or Ronald Reina after him. Is not subtle.

“He understood something about the race that Trump did not understand,” Mr. Lassiter said. “Voters don’t want to challenge racial privilege, but they don’t want to be explicitly reminded that racism is inferior to their position.”

Because this tension persists, historian Lily Geismer suspects that white suburban voters who oppose Black Lives Matter now oppose – and may have Biden voters in the fall – that will also return affordable housing that Will diversify the neighborhood area or support the police budget which will cut the police. money. In a Times / Sienna poll, 49 percent of suburban voters said they strongly opposed reducing funding to police departments.

Professor Gismer, who teaches at Claremont McKenna College, said that today some of the same voters demonstrating for racial justice are talking about pulling their children out of public schools during the coronovirus crisis and hiring private tutors.

“The idea is that we support Black Lives Matter, but we’re trying to do everything we can to protect the educational wellbeing of our children – that’s the disconnect I’m seeing,” she said.

Ultimately, these are two different questions: how will suburban voters respond to President Trump in the fall, and they will support it after the election, regardless of its outcome.

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