While the United States is rightly focused on the coronavirus pandemic, the events of last week in Washington underscored that two years after women fueled Democrats’ push in 2018 to topple the House of Representatives, Trump and some members of his Republican Party have not learned their lesson – – and still do not seem to show that they will treat women equally and respect the dignity of their work both at home and in the professional field .
As Trump stepped up his campaign to sow fear in the hearts of white suburban voters by claiming they would not be safe in Joe Biden’s America this week, he tweeted a column in the New York Post praising his efforts to get rid of Fair Housing Regulations of the Obama era. By the way, columnist Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York City, argued that women “must focus on issues for their families” if Biden is elected.
But in the Thursday afternoon tweet that sounded straight out of the 1950s, Trump said, “Suburban housewives in America need to read this article. Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American dream. I will preserve it and make it even better! ”
McCaughey had referred to “women”, not “suburban housewives” (a term that began her slow death when Betty Friedan wrote “The Female Mystique” in 1963, helping to spark the women’s rights movement).
Trump’s muffled tweet about suburban housewives was consistent with his long history of using demeaning language to describe women and his attempt to win the 2018 midterms for his party by stoking a backlash against the movement # MeToo calling it a “very scary time” for young men.
He also recalled his long history of sexism and intimidation and insulting women who challenged him, including those who accused him of sexual assault (which he denied).
With his sexist and contemptuous language, Trump has never figured out how to catch up with female voters since 2016 and 2018. And he now risks losing them by potentially historic margins in the November election.
The president followed Vice President Joe Biden 25 points among women (35% vs. 60% for Biden) in the recent Washington Post-ABC News poll and 28 points in the mid-July Quinnipiac poll which showed Biden led Trump among female voters 59% to 31%.
See Trump and Biden’s face-to-face poll
These numbers should be particularly alarming for the Trump campaign given that Democrats’ best result among women in a national presidential ballot was 56% to 43% in 2008, the year Barack Obama defeated the US senator. ‘Arizona John McCain. Among white women in the latest Washington Post / ABC poll, 50% supported Biden, 46% Trump.
CNN Director of Election Polls and Analysis Jennifer Agiesta notes that Democrats never won the majority of white women according to exit polls dating back to 1972. (Former President Bill Clinton won the White Women of 48% to 43% in 1996, but the party never reached the threshold of 50% or more).
In 2016, Trump raised white women from 52% to 43% over Hillary Clinton, a Democrat. Only 4% of black women voted for Trump, and only 25% of Latinas supported him.
And as CNN’s Harry Enten wrote over the weekend, this is not an election where the economy – which Trump has long believed to be his greatest strength – drives the election.
As the number of coronavirus cases in the United States has surpassed 4.1 million and more than 146,000 Americans have died, polls have consistently shown that Americans, especially women, are more concerned about Covid-19 than by any other problem.
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 Key states of the battlefield that Trump needs to be re-elected.
In a new round of CNN polls released on Sunday, Biden’s advantage in the swing states of Michigan, Arizona and Florida was largely driven by his advantage among women, according to Agiesta.
Trump has launched several initiatives this week to increase support among female voters.
At the White House, he handed the mic to Charron Powell, the mother of LeGend Taliferro, who shared the heartbreaking story of losing her four-year-old son to violence in Kansas City as she helped Trump defend this controversial initiative. – known as “Operation Legend” – to send federal agents to major cities to fight violent crime.
Lori Lightfoot, the Democratic mayor of Chicago – where homicides are up 51% from last year, accepts federal aid from the Trump administration, but she said in an interview Sunday with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “the state of the union” that the city’s collaboration is a very different situation than in Portland “where the Trump administration parachuted these additional federal agents without consulting anyone locally.”
“I drew a very hard line: we will not allow federal troops in our city,” Lightfoot told Tapper of the Trump administration’s new initiative. “We will not tolerate anonymous agents removing people from the streets, violating their rights and keeping them in detention. That doesn’t happen here in Chicago. So I drew a very, very bright line. I have said this very clearly to all members of the federal government. authority I have spoken to and they understand that if they cross that line, we will not hesitate to use any tools at our disposal to stop unwanted troops and agents in our town. ”
In another appeal to women at one of his coronavirus briefings, Trump said his administration had asked for $ 105 billion to help reopen schools amid the outbreak and argued that the money should “follow the student so that parents and families are in control.” their own decisions. ”
But he also undermined his own message by continuing to argue that children need to go back to school in person – and mistakenly claiming that children don’t get sick or easily pass the virus on – even though polls show that ‘A majority of school-aged parents do not feel safe sending them away for in-person instruction.
Despite the administration’s efforts to convince the American people that they have brought the coronavirus pandemic under control and that it will be safe for children and parents to return to school and work, Republican Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan said on Sunday that Trump’s claim that governors have everything they need is unclear.
Hogan, the chairman of the National Association of Governors, said his own state still expects more personal protective equipment for nursing homes and argued that the federal government needs to strengthen the country’s coronavirus testing capacity. because some states see waits of 10 days or more. for the results.
“This is something the federal government really needs to focus on,” Hogan said of “the state of the union”. “Instead, last week the president was talking about cutting funding for screening programs. (…) The most important thing we can do right now is identify where the virus is and, with contact tracing, try to identify infections and stop the spread. ”
Earlier in the same program, Adm. Brett Giroir said the administration would not be happy with the tests until the turnaround time was 24 hours, but told Tapper they were “doing everything we can” to meet that goal.
When the president began reopening schools weeks ago, CNN’s White House team reported that he and his advisers were hoping the issue would help him with female voters, many of whom bear much of the burden. juggling their children’s homeschooling while working. of the House. But with alarming spikes in cases across the country, Trump’s speech did not go as planned.
The gendered language of the week, from Trump’s tweet to the verbal attack by Florida GOP Representative Ted Yoho on Ocasio-Cortez – an incident in which the Florida Republican allegedly called the New York Democrat “disgusting” and “F ** king bitch” within earshot of a reporter from The Hill newspaper – was a reminder that Trump and many of his allies still don’t understand how to talk to women, let alone about them.
During a heated exchange, Yoho challenged Ocasio-Cortez for his remarks about unemployment and rising crime in his home state. He denied using the insult against her and gave a speech on the ground that was presented as an apology, but maintained that “no one was accosted, intimidated or attacked. ”
Ocasio-Cortez, who accused him of lying, got the better of the tense exchange by delivering a nine-minute speech on the ground to denounce the misogyny and “abusive” language she said he and her colleague, Texas GOP Representative Roger Williams used to confront her as she walked up the steps to the Eastern Front of the Capitol for a vote on Monday afternoon.
In numerous interviews with female voters of all political stripes over the past three years, one of the things many of them said they didn’t like about Trump is his foul, sexist language and the way he has changed. dialogue in America – convincing its supporters. and allies that they can say whatever comes to their mind, no matter how hurtful or offensive it is.
For Trump and Republican henchmen like Yoho, there are now too many self-inflicted mistakes to count. They are taking their own party with them – and no one will be surprised if women rise up again in November and deliver a victory for Democrats.
This story was updated with comments from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Admiral Brett Giroir, and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.