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On Trump’s Suburban Fear Mongering


Trump trying to revive the campaign of George Wallace has always seemed bizarre to me and no part more so than the fear mongering about suburbs. The suburbs have become significantly more diverse in recent years and it’s simply not 1968 anymore. Not that Trump realizes that. But how are suburban women responding to this treatment is a good question. Here’s some research on responses in Wisconsin and Minnesota about it.

President Trump’s effort to court suburban women by promising to protect their neighborhoods is encountering one sizable hitch: Most suburban women say their neighborhoods aren’t particularly under threat.

At least, not in the ways the president has described.

Their communities feel safe to them, and they’re not too concerned about poorer neighbors moving in, according to polls in some key battleground states by The New York Times and Siena College. They say in a national Monmouth University poll that racial integration is important to them, and unlikely to harm property values or safety. In interviews, many have never heard of the federal fair-housing rule encouraging integration that the president has often cited by name in arguing that Joe Biden would abolish the suburbs.

They’re not even all that worked up about the idea of new apartments nearby, sullying suburbs dominated by single-family homes.

“Nope, not at all. I have no concern whatsoever about it,” said Diane Wonchoba, an independent in the Minneapolis suburb of Blaine. She pointed to an apartment recently built half a mile from her house. “It’s beautiful. Way to go. We built our home, so we were the new people on the block 20 years ago.”

The polling in here shows that suburban women at least theoretically don’t care if low income housing was built next to them. Now, I am pretty skeptical that if actual low income housing was constructed in any meaningful numbers, that this polling would change radically. But in terms of the election, there is no evidence that any of this racism is going to work, at least with the targeted audience, as opposed to the base which wants the reimposition of Jim Crow, except this time on a national scale.

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