Even as he pleads for their support, white suburban women are rejecting Donald Trump in droves.
White suburban women are fed up with Donald Trump, and it may cost him the election.
Around the country, these women are making their voices heard, and what they're saying is that Trump cannot take their votes for granted.
They say the global coronavirus pandemic response badly botched by the Trump administration, protests against racially motivated police brutality around the country, the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg have galvanized them.
In Philadelphia, suburban women are a key voting bloc in a key swing state. Haaretz spoke with Jewish women there and found they are turning against Trump en masse. They deem his support of Israel to be largely an act of political posturing, and some say they will never forget his failure to condemn the white supremacist and neo-Nazi "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 that left one person dead.
Elsewhere in the country, suburban women have similarly rallied.
In early 2016, Michigander Lori Goldman started a group called Fems for Dems with the aim of electing the first female U.S. president. The organization now boasts nearly 9,000 members and is working to elect Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
"Our house is on fire," Goldman says. She has committed the organization to ousting Trump from office, adding that she isn't comfortable canvassing strangers, "But this is war."
Shannon Watts, a suburban mother of five and founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun safety group that now boasts a larger membership than the NRA, said Donald Trump has badly misjudged suburban women and what is important to them.
"Donald Trump is right to think that suburban women will be voting for safety," she said. "But he's wrong to think that means they'll be voting for him."
Trump has been attempting to win white suburban women voters back with racist dogwhistles for some time.
In August, he stooped to racist fearmongering, asking on Twitter: "Why would suburban women vote for Biden and the Democrats when Democrats run cities are now rampant with crime (and they aren't asking the federal government for help) which could easily spread to the suburbs, and they will reconstitute, on steroids, their low income suburbs plan?"
During a recent campaign rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Trump begged for the support of suburban women: "Somebody said, I don't know if the suburban woman likes you. They said, they may not like the way you talk. But I'm about law and order. I'm about having you safe."
He again bragged about getting "low-income housing" out of suburban neighborhoods, another racist dogwhistle.
"Suburban women, will you please like me? I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?" Trump pleaded.
He added: "Suburban women should like me more than anyone here tonight because I ended the regulation that destroyed your neighborhood."
Trump referred to his repeal in July of an anti-discrimination rule from the Obama era that was aimed at preventing racial segregation.
"I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood," Trump tweeted, adding that house values would go up and crime go down.
But suburban women are having none of what Trump's selling.
Whereas in 2016 he won the among suburban voters 47% to 45% over Hillary Clinton, he's now losing with them 54% to 44%. And the seismic shift isn't because of suburban men, who continue overwhelmingly to favor Trump. It's because Biden has nearly a double-digit lead among suburban women of 54% to 45%.
And among white suburban Republicans, hot-button issues such as the Trump administration's child separation policy starkly divide men and women, with 46% of white suburban men supporting that policy compared with only 25% of white suburban women.
"Women are pragmatic voters," Michigan Gov. Whitmer, herself a frequent target of Trump's abuse, has said. "We care about our kids. We care about our parents. We care about economic security. And so candidates who stand up for those values and show that they can be good, decent human beings is something I know resonates. And I think this moment, with this White House, that is more acute than ever."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.