When Donald Trump won in 2016, he did so in large part thanks to a key demographic group that propelled him to wins in key battleground states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin: White working-class women.
But with his recent attacks on four female Democratic women of color who serve in Congress, many of those same white women say their view of the president has changed for the worse, and could wind up costing him reelection in 2020.
Writing in The Daily Beast, Molly Jong-Fast notes:
“The president of the United States has a well-deserved problem with women voters but it may not be for the reasons you’d suspect. It turns out the racism may actually be more distasteful to working class white women than the numerous sexual assault allegations.”
Polling data supports Jong-Fast’s assertion:
“On Thursday, Democratic pollster and political strategist Stan Greenberg released a set of focus groups he conducted in white working-class neighborhoods, and the results should worry the organizers of Women for Trump. ‘The white working-class men look like they are approaching the 2016 margins for Trump, but not the women,’ said Greenberg in The Atlantic. And Ronald Brownstein wrote that these focus groups ‘offer fresh evidence that the gender gap over Trump within this bloc is hardening.’”
Overall, women went cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton in 2016, but that wasn’t true among white women, as Quartz noted shortly after Trump was declared the victor:
The majority of non-college educated white women (64%) voted for Trump, while 35% backed Clinton. This figure is far higher than non-college educated black women, of which only 3% voted for Trump, and non-college educated Hispanic women, of which 25% voted for Trump. Black, Hispanic and other non-white women backed Clinton in far greater numbers.
A female voter in Nevada had this to say in a focus group:
“He totally divides this country, like no one has ever done in history.”
Another woman in the same focus group said Trump’s attacks on Democrats make him sound “ignorant.”
All of this, Jong-Fast concludes, may prove that Trump’s propensity for attacking anyone who disagrees with him may wind up being his Achilles’ heel come 2020:
“Perhaps the overtness of his targeting of the Squad is finally a bridge too far. It’s possible that the act of watching the president target women who are just trying to do their jobs is viscerally more upsetting to these women than the many allegations of sexual assault that they did not actually see with their own eyes. Maybe the president’s racism, the thing he’s been using to juice his white working class base, will boomerang on him and alienate white working class women. Wouldn’t it be delicious if the racism was the thing that brought down the racist?”
Indeed, that would be karmic justice of the highest order.
Featured Image Via the BBC