Trump’s law-and-order hardline message is flopping with suburban voters -- here's why
President Donald Trump appears during a rally Dec. 10, 2019. (Matt Smith Photographer/

President Donald Trump is focused on whipping up fear and resentment among suburban voters, but those areas are far more diverse than his strategy seems to reflect.

The president has doubled down on a harsh law-and-order message as protests continue in many cities against police brutality and systemic racism, but the Wall Street Journal reported on some demographic changes in the suburbs that might dampen that strategy.

"Urban-suburb counties increasingly look like cities in terms of racial and economic diversity and density," the newspaper reports. "They are less non-Hispanic white than the nation as a whole, and they exceed the national average for residents with bachelor’s degrees."

Median household incomes in those counties -- which include the Washington, D.C., suburb of Montgomery County, Maryland -- are roughly $70,000, compared with $60,000 nationally, and tend to lean heavily Democratic.

"Exurban counties are far more rural and less racially and ethnically diverse, but college graduates are still plentiful, and median household incomes are high, at about $65,000," the newspaper reports.

Those counties -- which include the Denver suburb of Douglas County, Colorado -- lean Republican, and the president hold a seven-point lead in those areas, compared to the 17-point wins he carried in 2016.

"A third type of county, the blue-collar suburbs, tends to have more manufacturing workers than the nation as a whole," the Journal reports. "They are densely populated but not very racially or ethnically diverse, and bachelor’s degrees are scarcer."

Cleveland suburb Lake County, Ohio, is a good example of those suburbs, which gave the president lopsided wins four years ago to push him over the top in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

However, WSJ/NBC News polls show Trump tied with Democrat Joe Biden in those areas this year, and recent polling suggests the president's law-and-order message has failed to move any new voters into his column.