President Donald Trump is losing support among white, working-class women — but he’s making a gamble that his racist attacks on Democratic congresswomen will win them back.
Polling throughout Trump’s presidency has shown that women voters are more concerned over his offensive rhetoric than men, and recent surveys show he’s not getting much credit from voters who say they’re satisfied with the economy, reported The Atlantic.
That might be why he’s stoking racist division.
“To offset that unusual defection among the economically content,” wrote the magazine’s senior editor Ronald Brownstein, “Trump must maximize his margins — and turnout — among the groups that have been most receptive to his exclusionary racist and cultural messages: older, non-urban, evangelical-Christian, and non-college-educated white voters.”
Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg said that working-class white men are a lost cause for Democrats next year, but women in that same demographic believe Trump has failed to deliver for them — particularly on health care.
But polling does show that non-college-educated white women are almost as hostile as their male counterparts to liberal policies — single-payer health care, health coverage for undocumented migrants and decriminalizing unauthorized border crossings — promoted by Democratic presidential candidates.
Although their hostility isn’t quite as intense as it is for men, they generally agree on the same broad themes, Brownstein wrote.
“A majority (of white, working-class voters) agree on several ideas: that the growing number of immigrants threatens traditional American values, that the U.S. way of life must be protected against foreign influence, and that white people face as much discrimination as black people,” Brownstein wrote. “All of those attitudes correlate with support for Trump.”
Trump’s attacks on first-year lawmakers such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-CA) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) can be seen as an attempt to intensify those hostilities in hopes of motivating white, working-class women to show up at the polls for him in 2020.
“Trump is in something of a political box with working-class white women,” Brownstein wrote. “He can activate their cultural and racial anxieties with more attacks of the kind he’s directed against the so-called squad of liberal Democratic congresswomen. But in the process, he’s likely to also intensify their concerns about his divisiveness and perceived ‘bullying.'”
Trump, however, seems to be gambling that those women won’t care.
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