In this, the last week before the mother of all elections, Trump’s worst nightmare just came true: the combined force of uber-committed suburban women campaigning to oust Trump plus Michael Bloomberg’s $15 million bucks fueling ad campaigns in Texas and Ohio. A perfect storm for Republican angst and insomnia.
Trump’s Fever Dream: Wooing Women in Suburbia
First, let’s review Trump’s campaign efforts to woo suburban women voters.
At a recent rally in Pennsylvania, Trump pleaded: “Suburban women, will you please like me? Remember? Hey, please, I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?”
Sorry, sir — that desperate plea fell on deaf ears. The women of Pennsylvania, and all over the country, have had it. After four years of lying, paying off porn stars, demeaning women, putting kids in cages and allowing a deadly virus to run rampant, women are not only turning their backs on Trump — but proactively campaigning for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. And the polls tell the tale: in a recent October Monmouth poll, Biden led among Pennsylvania women overall by 26 points. Many of these women voted for Trump in 2016 … but uh-uh, not anymore.
Julianne Bortz from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, voted for Trump in 2016 because she liked Trump’s business approach. “I was wrong. Boy was I wrong.” Trump’s lies, divisiveness and his attacks on veterans all contributed to her support for Biden. And she said there are friends and neighbors just like her — Democrats who voted Republican in 2016 but are now flipping blue.
Oh — and if there’s a state that Trump desperately needs to win — it’s Pennsylvania. But there are others. Overall, the poll numbers among women — particularly suburban women — are giving the Trump campaign some pretty sleepless nights. Biden leads by 23 points among suburban women in swing states, according to The New York Times and Siena College, and by 19 points among suburban women overall, according to Pew Research. Pew also found that Hispanic women prefer Biden by 44 points and Black women go for the Democrat by a staggering 85 points.
Larry Jacobs, the director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota, stated: “[Trump] so alienated suburban women that it’s put a whole number of states in play, including states you wouldn’t expect, like Georgia.”
Trump’s efforts to win back this vitally important voting sector AKA “soccer moms” have backfired — bigly. He tried to play the racist fearmongering card, where low-income housing could bring crime and violence to bucolic suburbs. Not only was it condescending to women, but suburban diversity is now a source of community pride. Ouch.
Red, Wine & Blue
Speaking of bucolic suburbs, let’s visit Shaker Heights, Ohio, home of Red Wine & Blue.
RW&B is a grassroots organization geared at rallying suburban women to vote and effect change. Katie Paris founded the group in 2019, which has mobilized more than 40,000 women from across the state. “People are turned off by traditional politics right now, so we want to meet them where they are,” she explained. “We use a lot of humor, wine puns, and other engaging content to reach beyond the choir. If you’re going to break through the noise and engage people, you have to do things differently.”
And Katie says their strategy is working. In addition to mobilizing Democratic voters, they are drawing women into the Biden camp who either didn’t vote in 2016, voted third party, or voted for Trump.
The women of Red, Wine & Blue describe themselves as badass. They have worked nonstop over the past year to get Trump voted out of office. Why? Besides all of Trump’s obvious debacle and debauchery of a presidency, it’s about this: watching the president through the eyes of their children. And it’s beyond horrific. Just listen to this suburban mom from Ohio:
My 9-year-old said, ‘I’m kinda glad the president got COVID. Because he made fun of Biden for wearing a mask.’ Like, excuse me, Mr. President, my 9-year-old heard you. He was listening when you made fun of us for wearing masks.”
Bloomberg’s Millions Stoke the Home Stretch
But the women of Red, Wine & Blue are worried. Despite their Herculean efforts, the presidential race in Ohio is too close for comfort. They’re exhausted. They are sick thinking about a second term of Trump’s tyranny. And they started this last week hopeful, but knew they were facing a “red’ brick wall.
Then on October 27, Michael Bloomberg, former New York mayor and presidential candidate, pumped $15 million into two Republican strongholds, Texas and Ohio. He had been laser-focused on Florida, contributing $100 million towards turning that state blue. But as we entered the home stretch of the election, Bloomberg’s private polling sources indicated Trump’s vulnerabilities in two states that he had won by wide margins in 2016, Texas and Ohio. The last minute, multimillion-dollar boost will air intensive ad campaigns in all television markets in both states.
Bloomberg’s decision is indicative of just how much the electoral tectonic plates have shifted recently. The reason? Coronavirus and Trump’s total and catastrophic deception and lack of leadership when the country needed it most. It did not go unnoticed by suburban women and fanned the flames of his unpopularity going into the final days.
For the women of Red, Wine & Blue, this tangible show of media support is just the motivation to help them make it to the finish line. And beyond? Well, that’s another day, another fun video and another bottle of wine.
So, in a perfect storm of timing, a billionaire’s $15M ad bump in Texas and Ohio — and the stoked suburban women in Ohio — Trump and his campaign team will be resting uneasily for the next week.
And for suburban women sea to shining sea, we hear you. Your vote is your voice.
Feature photo from Red, Wine & Blue
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