President Donald Trump pleaded with suburban women to "like me" at a MAGA rally in traditionally red Johnstown, Pennsylvania Friday. But for many, the attempt to court them came far too late in the 2020 election cycle.
A New York Times interview with former Trump supporters like Kate Rabinovitch, who revealed she feels "really guilty" for supporting Trump in 2016, recalling at the time she thought, "Oh, what’s the worst that could happen?" The last four years have shown her exactly what is possible under Trump's rule.
"For Ms. Rabinovitch, no amount of exaggerated pleading will undo the damage of the past four years," the Times reported. "On a chilly October evening in a suburban Columbus backyard, she gathered with three other women, all mothers of young children, to discuss their political evolutions."
Not all the women with her were ex-Trump supporters, but they were all saddened by what happened in 2016.
"For them, the president's words and actions have forced an intimate re-examination of their deep-rooted, more conservative political identities — taught in church and school and inherited from their families — and some things that are even more personal: their sense of morality and the values they hope to impart to their children," said the report.
Over wine, the women talked about how Trump pushed them away from the Republican Party, a problem that the GOP has faced since hitching their wagons to Trump in 2016. Gallup charted decreases in party identification since 2004, but it shows a deep dive in Republican Party membership in the Trump era.
Trump's coattails might be great for new Pizzagate believers and 9/11 Truthers, and it's driving away voters who don't get their news from message boards or conspiracy theorists.
"I cannot imagine a Republican candidate that I would rally behind," the Times cited Hannah Dasgupta, a stay-at-home mom of two. "Wow, that's mind-blowing to think about. That's a huge departure."
She explained that she was raised in a conservative home and attended Christian schools growing up, but she still couldn't bring herself to vote for former Secretary Hillary Clinton.
"The crazy thing is like, I wouldn't know the guy if he was sitting next to me," Dasgupta said. "I don't think I could identify him. But those Republican roots were deep, and the abortion issue is strong."
She went on to explain that her position has shifted on the abortion issue as her opinion of Trump has fallen. She's tired of trying to make excuses for him in conversations with her children. Biden, by contrast, connects to her as a mother.
"In the last four years, my children have grown and developed more than he has in regards to the way he speaks to other people, the way he speaks about other people," she said.