On CNN Saturday, Niskanen Center political scientist Rachel Bitecofer explained how President Donald Trump's re-election campaign has realized their strategy of trying to scare voters about crime and defunded police departments is backfiring.
"You've seen the commercial, we've all seen the commercial of the woman dialing 911. She's looking for the response because somebody is going to break into her house," said commentator Michael Smerconish. "This has been the big topic of the Trump campaign, oddly, they've gone dark in the last couple of days. My question, Rachel, in a commercial like this, who are they trying to reach, swing voters ... or the base?"
"So, they're trying to reach both," said Bitecofer. "But I think the Trump strategy, which, by the way, they are pulling off the air and are going to retool because it's obviously not working, is it's about trying to — it's really out of date. And it's trying to convince people that, you know, racial minorities are coming to disrupt their peaceful suburban lifestyle and hedge off of that suburban loss. It's a total misread of, like, what the mentality of what the suburban, college-educated voters are about."
"Here's what I will tell you," added Bitecofer. "The Trump campaign is not a campaign that's been tooled for addition, which is how traditional campaigns are tooled. It's one that has been tooled for subtraction from the Biden campaign. It was a dubious strategy from the get-go, and I think they're starting to realize how ineffective it is."