Trump’s Appeal To ‘Suburban Housewives’ Seems Unlikely To Take Off Where He Has Record Disapproval
President Donald Trump has recently appealed to “The Suburban Housewives of America” in his campaign ads and tweets, arguing that Black Lives Matter protests and an Obama-era fair housing rule pose a threat to the “Suburban Lifestyle Dream.”
Trump’s approval ratings in suburban areas is relatively low, with a New York Times/Siena College poll from June finding that only 38% of suburban voters approve of Trump’s job performance, while 59% disapprove. And the same poll found that nearly two-thirds (65%) of suburban voters viewed the Black Lives Matter movement favorably.
Suburban voters prefer presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden to Trump by a large margin – 51% to 35%, the poll showed. In 2016, similar surveys found Hillary Clinton leading by only eight points.
Although the poll found that 49% of suburban voters “strongly oppose” defunding the police, Biden has made it clear he doesn’t believe in defunding the police either, although he does support certain reforms. Trump’s threat that Biden will defund the police if elected poses fewer worries for this reason.
The majority of those polled recognized racial inequities in the U.S. justice system that the Black Lives Matter protests are working to address, and 10% polled said they participated in a protest themselves. In Portland, Oregon, where protesters have violently clashed with law enforcement, suburban moms have emerged as an image of solidarity with the movement.
The participation of “suburban housewives” in the protests themselves make it increasingly difficult for Trump to portray Black Lives Matter as a danger to suburbs, historian Rick Perlstein told the New York Times.
“The images that are emerging as the most indelible in the public mind are a line of mothers taking the tear gas,” Perlstein said. “Or a 53-year-old Navy vet asking people to honor their oath to the Constitution of the United States,” he added, referring to Navy veteran Chris David who was pepper-sprayed and beaten in Portland after approaching federal law enforcement officers to ask “why they weren’t living up to their oath of office, the Constitution.”