There is little doubt that, for some suburban women, the personality of Donald J. Trump is too abrasive to countenance. They simply cannot abide what they see as an overly aggressive persona, which is characterized in much of the media as crude, rude, and divisive. However, as the clock ticks and Election Day draws near, other factors are coming into play that may allow them to rethink their animus for the president. Here are three reasons why suburban women may break for Trump as we come down the stretch.
Number 1: Civil Unrest and Immigration
The violence in the hotly contested commonwealth of Pennsylvania — specifically in Philadelphia – highlights an important theme in the Trump campaign. When police shot an armed black man, mayhem erupted, and 30 policemen were injured. While the unrest did not occur in the suburbs, it’s close enough for women in eastern Pennsylvania to observe what’s going on, and they do not like what they see. Overwhelmingly, this demographic votes on safety and security issues. They understand that Trump is the law-and-order president.
Immigration, though currently not a hot topic, is another significant voting issue for suburban women. They fear MS-13 gangs, worry that an illegal alien may accost their teenage daughters, or fear an illegal who just doesn’t give a damn might run down their son while driving a car. Then there is the issue of foreign workers: A Rasmussen poll revealed that 80% of conservative suburban women, 71% of moderate suburban women, and 62% of liberal suburban women like the Trump policy of limiting foreign workers in favor of hiring Americans.
Number 2: Amy Coney Barrett
If you put a face on the quintessential suburban woman, it might look a lot like Amy Coney Barrett. Poised, refined, smart as a whip, she becomes especially animated when she talks about her children. With seven of them in tow, including one child with special needs and two adopted from Haiti, the new associate justice is just too hard not to like. Every square inch of ACB — from her hair to her little black dress with a single strand of pearls — shouts suburban woman. She may be part of an august group of jurists, but she is someone with whom you would gladly share a carpool to ferry the kids to and from soccer games.
The tableau of Barrett and Trump standing on the Truman Balcony of the White House, smiling at one another following her swearing-in as only the fifth female Supreme Court justice, will be hard to forget for suburban women across the political aisle and all across America. Score a point for DJT on this one.
Number 3: The Final Debate
Somewhere between 55 and 63 million people watched the final presidential debate, when Trump put on his friendly face. He was dignified — many said downright presidential — in his behavior. Gone was the aggressor and in its place was a guy who referred to his opponent as “Joe” — not clown, not sleepy, not shot, just plain old Joe. Trump appeared composed, and he let the other guy talk. This version of Donald J. Trump behaved as most suburban women would want their children to behave. It was a smart move and demonstrated there are many sides to the president, including this one, uncommonly civil.
Ultimately, suburban women have to determine whether they want to vote for personality or policy when casting their ballot. Perhaps these latest events and actions by the president, together with the temperance of his behavior, will make that choice less difficult.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.