Trump Says ‘Suburban Housewife’ Will Vote for Him. What Do Polls, 2018 Election Show?

August 15, 2020by Bailey Aldridge, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) (TNS)
A single-family home in suburban Long Island, New York. (Photo by Dan McCue)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted that the “suburban housewife” will vote for him in the upcoming election — but polls and past election results tell a different story.

“The ‘suburban housewife’ will be voting for me,” the president tweeted. “They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood. Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with Corey Booker (sic) in charge!”

Trump was referencing the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule, an Obama-era regulation aimed at preventing racial housing discrimination and required local governments to address discriminatory housing laws and regulations.

The Trump administration announced in July it would “ultimately terminate” the rule. Joe Biden has said he would work to re-implement the Obama-era regulation suspended by the Trump administration, according to his campaign website.

The president has repeatedly targeted suburban voters with unproven claims that suburbs would be “bothered” or “hurt” by the implementation of the rule. He has also accused Biden of planning to “totally destroy” suburbs,” McClatchy News previously reported.

But polls and recent election results show the president may not have as much support among suburban voters as he thinks.

Recent polls of those voters show him behind Biden by an average of 15 points, which NPR reports is a historic margin.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll in July found Biden is up 52% to 43% among “suburbanites.” A Fox News poll found Biden up by an 11-point margin among suburban voters, 49% to 38%. An early June CNN poll found Trump down by 14 points.

Additionally, a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found Trump down by 25 points among suburban residents.

His support is even lower among suburban women, the polls show.

The same ABC News/Washington Post poll found Biden had a 60% to 36% lead over Trump among suburban women, and the Fox News poll found a 55% to 32% lead among them. The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found a 64% to 35% lead.

Suburbs also played a large role in turning the U.S. House blue in the 2018 midterm elections, with many suburban congressional districts flipping from red — some of the most dramatic of which were in the South, NPR reports.

For example, during the 2018 election, Democrats “picked up steam” among suburban areas of South Carolina — a strongly red state — that usually went Republican, The (Columbia) State reported in 2018.

Suburbs are also much more diverse than they once were.

The “white share” of suburban populations fell 8 percentage points between 2000 and 2018, according to a Pew Research Center report. The report found at the time 68% of suburban residents were white, 14% were Hispanic and 11% were Black.

Republican pollster Christine Matthews told NPR the president’s views of the suburbs are outdated.

“He thinks it’s basically the planned development of Levittown in the 1960s as opposed to today’s suburbs, which are multiracial, diverse and highly educated,” Matthews told the outlet.

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©2020 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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