Suburban women and elderly voters accounted for a hefty amount of the votes President Trump received in 2016, now, those demographics are opting to vote Democrat in 2020.
Joe Biden’s goal of reaching the White House in 2021 could be dependent on two crucial demographics who’s previous loyalty to Trump led him to his presidency back in 2016. Elderly individuals and women living in suburban settings are joining the likes of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and LGBTQ individuals, in terms of demographics who overall are projecting to vote for Biden this November.
We’re a little more than a week away from Election Day now, and Biden is currently polling with a double-digit lead in almost every national poll and is already ahead in the more crucial states. More than 52 million American citizens have already cast their ballots via mail-in absentee ballots, or early-voting locations.
Within the past four presidential elections the Republican candidate always received the majority vote from the ederly demographic in the US by at least 10 points; elderly refers to any individual aged 65 or older. However, within this past year during the Covid-19 pandemic four in five of the Americans that were killed by the virus were 65 or older, turning the general demographic against Trump and his administration due to their major mishandling of the pandemic that has now claimed the lives of over 220,000 US citizens. Currently president Trump is trailing Biden in elederly votes by more than 20 points. Larry Jacobs, the director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota, claims that losing the elderly and suburban woman vote would likely be “dooming” for Trump.
“The fact that he no longer has an advantage among seniors is really crippling for him. This kind of macho presidency has also gotten the ringing rejection by educated women who are tired of the 1950s.”
While “suburban” is often associated with white, it’s important to note that in terms of polling “suburban” refers to any individual living in a middle to upper middle class neighborhood. Previously, Trump gained a majority of the suburban vote by tapping into racially charged fears over crime, violence, and low-income housing within these communities. However, in 2018 after the Democratic party gained 41 seats in the House of Representatives – which was the biggest shift in house seating since the post-Watergate elections in 1974 – Trump’s popularity among suburban voters had clearly shifted.
At a recent rally in Pennsylvania, he begged: “Suburban women, will you please like me? Remember? Hey, please, I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?” However, the polls are showing that they’re not listening, as Biden is leading by 23 points among suburban women voters in swing states, and 19 points overall. Among Hispanic women voters Biden is leading by 44 points and among Black women voters a staggering, but unsurprising, 85 points.
Andrea Moore is a 45-year-old stay-at-home mother living in a suburb who voted for Trump back in 2016 due to his tax plans, but has since joined the growing number of individuals who are turning their back on the current president.
“Back then he was an unknown quantity, but now we know. I will not vote for the president again because of a million little things, like his divisiveness, fear mongering and failed Covid-19 response.”
As it currently stands, based on a national survey of 2,500 Americans by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), only 38% of people who are or above the age of 65 approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic while 61% say they disapprove. Among college-educated middle-aged women 70% disapprove of both his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and his response to racial justice protests that have occurred in the US within the past year.
Trump is also surprisingly losing support among the conservative religious communities as well based on his pandemic responses. PRRI found that 76% of white evangelical Protestants still approve of the job Trump is doing, while only 52% of white mainline Protestants and 49% of white Catholics agree.
“White Catholics are really on the president’s must-win list. They are as big or bigger than white evangelicals in the swing states, so in terms of religious groups they are quite an important constituency. White Catholics in 2016 were basically evenly divided between Trump and Hillary Clinton at this stage in the race. We have them at 54% Biden, 41% Trump, so that’s a sea change. This group is going to play an out sized role in Trump’s path to the electoral college and he’s not doing well with them at all,” said Robert P Jones, the chief executive and founder of PRRI who’s been taking these polling stats for quite some time now.
Older voters of color overall remain overwhelmingly Democratic, as they were in the 2016 election as well. Biden is also hugely dominant among voters under the age of 35 and the newest generation of voters who were just teenagers during the 2016 election but are now 18 or older and have the ability to make their voice heard.
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