But in the Thursday afternoon tweet that seemed straight out of the 1950s, Trump said “The Suburban Housewives of America must read this article. Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream. I will preserve it, and make it even better!”
McCaughey had referenced “women,” not “suburban housewives” (a term that began its slow death when Betty Friedan wrote “The Feminine Mystique” in 1963, helping to spark the women’s rights movement).
With his gendered and dismissive language, Trump has never figured out how to make up lost ground with female voters since 2016 and 2018. And he now stands to lose them by potentially historic margins in the November election.
Those numbers should be particularly alarming to the Trump campaign given that Democrats’ best result among women in a national presidential exit poll was 56% to 43% in 2008, the year that Barack Obama vanquished Arizona Sen. John McCain. Among White women in the latest Washington Post/ABC poll, 50% backed Biden, 46% Trump.
CNN’s Director of Polling and Election Analytics Jennifer Agiesta notes that Democrats have never won a majority of White women according to exit polls dating back to 1972. (Former President Bill Clinton won White women by 48% to 43% in 1996, but the party has never gotten to the 50% threshold or above).
At this moment when the number of coronavirus cases in the US has surpassed 4.1 million and more than 146,000 Americans have died, polls have consistently shown that Americans, particularly women, are more concerned about Covid-19 than any other issue.
Voters trust Biden more than Trump to handle the pandemic, and largely because of that, the former vice president has maintained a solid lead in the polls, both nationally and in many of the key battleground states that Trump needs to win reelection.
Trump this week rolled out several initiatives that were aimed at increasing his support among female voters.
Lori Lightfoot, the Democratic mayor of Chicago — where homicides are up 51% from last year, is accepting some federal help from the Trump administration, but she said during a Sunday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that her city’s collaboration is a very different situation than that of Portland “where the Trump administration parachuted in these additional federal agents without consulting anybody locally.”
“I’ve drawn a very hard line: we’ll not allow federal troops in our city,” Lightfoot told Tapper when addressing the Trump administration’s new initiative. “We will not tolerate unnamed agents taking people off the street, violating their rights and holding them in custody. That’s not happening here in Chicago. So I have drawn a very, very bright line. I’ve made that very clear to every federal authority that I’ve spoken with and they understand that if they cross that line, we will not hesitate to use every tool at our disposal to stop troops and unwanted agents in our city.”
In another appeal to women during one of his coronavirus briefings, Trump said his administration requested $105 billion to assist school re-openings in the midst of the outbreak and argued that the money should “follow the student so the parents and families are in control of their own decisions.”
Despite the administration’s efforts to convince the American people that they are getting the coronavirus pandemic under control and it will be safe for children and parents to return to school and work, Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday that Trump’s claim that governors have everything they need is not accurate.
Hogan, the chair of the National Governors Association, said his own state is still waiting for more personal protective equipment for nursing homes and argued that the federal government needs to ramp up the nation’s coronavirus testing capabilities as some states see waits of 10 days or more for results.
“That’s something that the federal government has really got to focus on,” Hogan said on “State of the Union.” “Instead, last week the President was talking about cutting funding for testing programs. … Probably the most important thing we can do right now is to identify where the virus is, and together with contact tracing, try to identify the infections and stop it from spreading.”
During a heated exchange, Yoho challenged Ocasio-Cortez over her remarks on unemployment and rising crime in her home state. He denied using the slur against her and made a floor speech that was couched as an apology, but maintained that “no one was accosted, bullied or attacked.”
In many interviews with female voters of all political persuasions over the past three years, one of the things many of them said they don’t like about Trump is his coarse, sexist language and how he has changed the dialogue in America — convincing his followers and allies that they can say whatever comes to mind, no matter how hurtful or offensive it is.
For Trump and Republican acolytes like Yoho, there are now too many self-inflicted mistakes to count. They are dragging their own party down with them — and no one will be surprised if women once again rise up in November and deliver a victory to the Democrats.
This story has been updated with comments from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Adm. Brett Giroir and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.