On Saturday, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump's campaign is now relying on first daughter Ivanka Trump to win over some of the suburban women who have broadly rejected the president.
"A remarkable 56 percent of white women said they held a very unfavorable view of the president in a New York Times/Siena College poll. These include many independents and former Republicans who self-identify as moderate or conservative and are likely to be put off by the president’s more boorish inclinations," reported Mark Leibovich. "As much as it’s possible, the Trump campaign is attempting to deploy the first daughter as a demographic paratrooper targeting at-risk women of the changing suburbs."
At a recent event in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example, Ivanka was deployed to make small talk about ice cream. “I learned that the first ice cream sundae was created in this amazing state!” she told voters at the event. “Wisconsinites eat 21 million gallons of ice cream a year.”
Some presidential historians are skeptical this strategy will help the Trump campaign, however. “On the one hand, a president’s family member can offer a softening and humanizing touch ... Ivanka can still be proof that is ‘See, he’s not that bad,’” Mr. Troy said. “She is trying to be some port in the storm,” said historian Gil Troy. However, he added, Ivanka's style “becomes almost a countercampaign rather than a supporting one.”
Moreover, said the report, Ivanka "has been connected to policies and actions that critics find just as distasteful or ill-advised," and "She has shown a knack for oblivious, tone-deaf gestures: drawing backlash, for instance, after she tweeted a photo of herself cuddling her two-year-old son amid reports of migrant children being forcibly taken from their mothers by border agents. Ms. Trump’s official position at the White House — along with that of her husband, Jared Kushner — has brought a host of criticism over nepotism and potential Hatch Act violations."
The president is visibly self-conscious about his failure to hold onto suburban voters; at one recent rally, he asked suburban women, "Will you please like me?"