President Donald Trump is getting desperate. He knows he is losing the 2020 presidential election to former Vice President Joe Biden. And he knows that suburban women have fled from him in droves over the last four years – and he needs them back (or at least some of them) if he wants to have a serious chance of pulling off a come-from-behind victory on November 3.
Which brings me to a Trump campaign rally on Sunday night in Nevada. And Trump’s latest attempt to convince suburban woman that he is their guy. Here’s the pitch:
“Go buy a dishwasher. I said what’s wrong with this thing? It doesn’t clean the dishes right. The women come up to me, the women who they say don’t like me – they actually do like me a lot. Suburban women, please vote for me. I’m saving your house. I’m saving your community. I’m keeping your crime way down.”
OK, so. The logic behind this argument goes like this.
1.Suburban women are the ones who do the dishes in their households
2. Dishwashers make doing the dishes easier
3. Trump made the water pressure in dishwashers better
4. Dishwashers now work better
5. Suburban women must vote for Trump
Yes, really. That’s the logic.
That Trump would even put voice to such a ridiculous argument reveals that he is still existing in a “Mad Men” sort of world, in which women are frazzled housewives who are focused solely on making sure the laundry is done, the dishes are washed and there’s a warm meal on the table before their husband gets home from his exhausting day of earning the family’s keep at work.
It’s a stunning – and unintentional – admission by Trump about how he a) regards women and b) what he believes will sway their votes. He made dishwashers work better! He’s “saving your house,” ladies! Come on.
That warped view of what women – including housewives – do and value comes after Trump has spent weeks trying to scare suburban women into voting for him.
Here’s Trump riffing on how he saved suburban women, from a rally last week in Pennsylvania:
“They talk about the suburban women. And somebody said, ‘I don’t know if the suburban woman likes you.’ I said, ‘Why?’ They said, ‘They may not like the way you talk,’ but I’m about law and order. I’m about having you safe. I’m about having your suburban communities. I don’t want to build low-income housing next to your house.”
“Suburban women, they should like me more than anybody here tonight because I ended the regulation that destroyed your neighborhood. I ended the regulation that brought crime to the suburbs, and you’re going to live the American dream. So can I ask you to do me a favor? Suburban women, will you please like me? I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?”
He saved your damn neighborhood, ladies! From crime! And “low-income housing”! (If you are wondering, Trump is referring to his rollback of an Obama-era policy that was aimed at banning racial discrimination in housing.)
The message here is pretty simple: If you vote for Biden this fall, you will have gangs roaming your streets, “low income” housing next door to you and a dishwasher that doesn’t effectively clean the dishes. Chaos will reign! Dishes will go unwashed!
Stunningly, there is very little evidence, whether anecdotal or statistical, that suggests that Trump’s appeals to suburban women are working.
Among white women with college degrees – not a perfect overlay of “suburban women” but as close as we can usually get in polling – Biden was at 68% to Trump’s 31% in a recent NPR/PBS/Marist national poll.
One woman living in the Pittsburgh suburbs and who voted for Trump in 2016 described her response to Trump’s argument that Biden will “destroy” the suburbs this way to CNN’s Kate Bolduan: “At the time, I laughed. It irritates me that he thinks that I and other people like me are stupid enough to believe that. It’s insulting.”
Yeah. That about covers it.