Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Suburban Women Recoil as Trump Dives Into Racial Politics
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 5 years ago on
July 30, 2019

Share

BROOKFIELD, Wis. — Carol Evans approves of Donald Trump’s immigration policy. She gives him credit for the strong economy. But the Republican from the affluent Milwaukee suburbs of Waukesha County, a GOP bedrock in the state, just can’t commit to voting for the president next year like she did in 2016.
“I just don’t like the way he talks about other people,” Evans, a 79-year-old retired data entry supervisor, said recently as she walked through a shopping mall in Brookfield, Wisconsin, days after Trump fired off a racist tweet at Democratic congresswomen.
The president’s recent return to racial politics may be aimed at rallying his base of white working-class voters across rural America. But the risks of the strategy are glaring in conversations with women like Evans.
Many professional, suburban women — a critical voting bloc in the 2020 election — recoil at the abrasive, divisive rhetoric, exposing the president to a potential wave of opposition in key battlegrounds across the country.
In more than three dozen interviews by The Associated Press with women in critical suburbs, nearly all expressed dismay — or worse — at Trump’s racially polarizing insults and what was often described as unpresidential treatment of people. Even some who gave Trump credit for the economy or backed his crackdown on immigration acknowledged they were troubled or uncomfortable lining up behind the president.
The interviews in suburbs outside Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Detroit and Denver are a warning light for the Republican president’s reelection campaign. Trump did not win a majority of female voters in 2016, but he won enough — notably winning white women by a roughly 10 percentage-point margin, according to the American National Election Studies survey — to help him eke out victories across the Rust Belt and take the White House.

Women Voting Against Republicans

Since then, there are few signs Trump has expanded his support among women. The 2018 midterms amounted to a strong showing of opposition among women in the suburbs, registering in unprecedented turnout overall, a Democratic House and a record number of women elected in statehouses across the country.
A continuing trend of women voting against Republicans could prove exceedingly difficult for Trump to overcome in his 2020 reelection bid.

“It was mainly when he got into office when my opinion started changing. Just the way he treats people.”Emily West
“It’s one of the more serious problems that the Republicans face,” said G. Terry Madonna, a pollster and director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania.
The affluent, largely white and politically divided suburbs across the Rust Belt are widely viewed as a top battleground, the places where Trump needs to hold his voters and Democrats are hoping to improve their showing over 2016.
In the Detroit suburb of Novi, where Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly beat Trump in 2016, pet store worker Emily West says she probably would have cast her ballot for Trump if she had voted in 2016. Now, she’s primed to vote against him.
“It was mainly when he got into office when my opinion started changing,” said West, 26. “Just the way he treats people.”
West spoke days after Trump fired off a tweet calling on four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to their home countries, even though three of the four were born in the United States. Trump’s supporters later turned “send her back” into a rally cry aimed at the one foreign-born member of the group, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who arrived in the U.S. as a child refugee from Somalia.

Colorado, Once a Competitive Swing State, Is Slipping From GOP

Over the weekend, Trump picked up another racial trope, using his Twitter feed to attack Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings and his majority-black Baltimore district by calling it a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.”
Pollsters say it is difficult to measure whether female voters will count Trump’s behavior against him more than their male counterparts will in 2020. But interviews with women reveal a clear discomfort with Trump’s character: It emerged again and again in the AP’s interviews and was a consistent objection cited by women across the political spectrum.
“I did not think it was going to be as bad as it is — definitely narcissism and sexism, but I did not think it was going to be as bad as it is,” said Kathy Barnes while shopping in the Denver suburb of conservative-leaning Lone Tree. “I am just ashamed to be an American right now.”
Barnes, a 55-year-old former insurance broker, left the Democratic Party years ago because she was open to voting Republican, but now she is one of the reasons that Colorado, once a competitive swing state, has been slipping away from the GOP.
In Novi, Michigan, Yael Telgheder, 36, says she tends to vote Democratic and reluctantly voted for Clinton in 2016, “even though I didn’t like either, by the way.” Asked about Trump, the database manager lowers her voice.
“I don’t think I should say those words in front of my daughter,” she said, her 3-year-old next to her. “To be honest, there are certain things that — he’s a businessman — so I understand the reasons behind them. But all of the disrespect and lies and stuff like that, it’s just too much for me.”

Women Outnumber and Outvote Men

Such women are an electoral threat to the president in large part because women outnumber and outvote men, noted Kelly Dittmar, a political science professor and a scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

“They are especially vital because they are base voters for Democrats. They vote for Democrats in larger numbers than men, but for Republicans, they are also important because they have tended to be a larger proportion of swing voters.” — Kelly Dittmar, a political science professor and a scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University
“They are especially vital because they are base voters for Democrats. They vote for Democrats in larger numbers than men, but for Republicans, they are also important because they have tended to be a larger proportion of swing voters,” Dittmar said.
The Trump campaign has tried to shore up their support. It launched its “Women for Trump” coalition in suburban Philadelphia this summer, drawing hundreds of women to see Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, and others to promote the message that Trump supports women’s issues and a strong economy.
Erin Perrine, the campaign’s deputy communications director, said the campaign sees the Philadelphia suburbs as a place it may pick up support.
Trump’s tweet at the so-called squad of Democratic congresswomen along with interviews in politically divided Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where Clinton beat Trump by 2,700 votes, or less than 1 percentage point, demonstrated the Trump campaign’s challenge. Nearly all of the dozen women interviewed disapproved of Trump’s rhetoric.
“The way he treats people, it’s horrible,” said Victoria Galiczynski, a 63-year-old registered Democrat, before she pushed her shopping cart into an upscale grocery store in Newtown.
Chris Myers, a 52-year-old accountant and Trump supporter, ticked off such attributes as his negotiating grit, but also quickly acknowledged his behavior.
“He’s not the most pleasant person. He can be very blunt and boorish,” Myers said as she prepared to go grocery shopping. “But I think this country needs someone who is more business-oriented.”

DON'T MISS

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

DON'T MISS

This Week’s Weather Will Take Us from Fleece to Flip-Flops

DON'T MISS

NBA Play-in Game Preview: West Games on Tuesday, East Games on Wednesday, Eliminations on Friday

DON'T MISS

Palestinian Supporters Block Golden Gate Bridge, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport

DON'T MISS

Biden’s Embrace of Trump’s Tariffs Could Spell Trouble for His Reelection: Fareed Zakaria

DON'T MISS

Ship That Caused Bridge Collapse Had Apparent Electrical Issues While Still Docked, Source Says

DON'T MISS

Bureau of Prisons to Close California Women’s Prison Where Inmates Have Been Subjected to Sex Abuse

DON'T MISS

Rosario, Pinto Homer off Snell in His Return to Tropicana Field as Rays Beat Giants

DON'T MISS

Are Americans Feeling Like They Get Enough Sleep? Dream On, a New Gallup Poll Says

DON'T MISS

Profar’s Tiebreaking 3-Run Double in 7th Inning Lifts Padres Over Dodgers

UP NEXT

NBA Play-in Game Preview: West Games on Tuesday, East Games on Wednesday, Eliminations on Friday

UP NEXT

Ship That Caused Bridge Collapse Had Apparent Electrical Issues While Still Docked, Source Says

UP NEXT

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

UP NEXT

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

UP NEXT

US Intelligence Finding Shows China Surging Equipment Sales to Russia to Help War Effort in Ukraine

UP NEXT

Several Writers Decline Recognition From PEN America in Protest Over Its Israel-Hamas War Stance

UP NEXT

US Consumer Sentiment Falls Slightly as Outlook for Inflation Worsens

UP NEXT

Tennessee Lawmakers Send Bill to Ban First-Cousin Marriages to Governor

UP NEXT

Instagram Blurs Nude Messages to Protect Teens, Fight Sexual Extortion

UP NEXT

Harvard Again Requiring Standardized Test Scores for Those Seeking Admission

Palestinian Supporters Block Golden Gate Bridge, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport

26 mins ago

Biden’s Embrace of Trump’s Tariffs Could Spell Trouble for His Reelection: Fareed Zakaria

42 mins ago

Ship That Caused Bridge Collapse Had Apparent Electrical Issues While Still Docked, Source Says

1 hour ago

Bureau of Prisons to Close California Women’s Prison Where Inmates Have Been Subjected to Sex Abuse

2 hours ago

Rosario, Pinto Homer off Snell in His Return to Tropicana Field as Rays Beat Giants

3 hours ago

Are Americans Feeling Like They Get Enough Sleep? Dream On, a New Gallup Poll Says

3 hours ago

Profar’s Tiebreaking 3-Run Double in 7th Inning Lifts Padres Over Dodgers

3 hours ago

Tesla Is Planning to Lay Off 10% of Its Workers After Dismal 1Q Sales

3 hours ago

Alton Brown Wants to Find Good Eats in Fresno

3 hours ago

The Latest | World Leaders Urge Israel Not to Retaliate for the Iranian Drone and Missile Attack

3 hours ago

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

Wrexham and its Hollywood owners are halfway to the promised land. Playing in the Premier League — the world’s richest and most popular socc...

9 mins ago

9 mins ago

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

Weather /
16 mins ago

This Week’s Weather Will Take Us from Fleece to Flip-Flops

19 mins ago

NBA Play-in Game Preview: West Games on Tuesday, East Games on Wednesday, Eliminations on Friday

26 mins ago

Palestinian Supporters Block Golden Gate Bridge, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport

42 mins ago

Biden’s Embrace of Trump’s Tariffs Could Spell Trouble for His Reelection: Fareed Zakaria

1 hour ago

Ship That Caused Bridge Collapse Had Apparent Electrical Issues While Still Docked, Source Says

2 hours ago

Bureau of Prisons to Close California Women’s Prison Where Inmates Have Been Subjected to Sex Abuse

3 hours ago

Rosario, Pinto Homer off Snell in His Return to Tropicana Field as Rays Beat Giants

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend