The comments came as recent poll numbers show President Donald Trump's flagging support among suburban women

By Virginia Chamlee
October 14, 2020 12:26 PM
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Credit: Jeff Swensen/Getty

In an appeal to "suburban women," President Donald Trump pleaded for support while appearing at a campaign rally on Tuesday.

“So can I ask you to do me a favor?" asked the president. "Suburban women, will you please like me?"

Recent polls show Trump, 74, hemorrhaging support among the demographic, a trend he's tried to reverse through his messaging on "law and order," which some have perceived as coded racism. His pitch to suburban women centers around his work killing an Obama-era anti-segregation fair housing rule.

Trump, claiming he used to "take heat" for saying the phrase "suburban housewife," addressed that flagging support during his rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

"They talk about the suburban women. And somebody said, 'I don’t know if the suburban woman likes you,' " Trump said. "I said, ‘Why?' ... They said, 'They may not like the way you talk,' but I’m about law and order. I’m about having you safe. I’m about having your suburban communities. I don’t want to build low-income housing next to your house."

"Suburban women, they should like me more than anybody here tonight because I ended the regulation that destroyed your neighborhood. I ended the regulation that brought crime to the suburbs, and you’re going to live the American dream,” he continued. "... So can I ask you to do me a favor? Suburban women, will you please like me? I saved your damn neighborhood, okay?”

The president's "suburb" comments echo recent remarks made at his first debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Under a Biden presidency, Trump claimed, “Our suburbs would be gone."

Biden replied that Trump “wouldn’t know a suburb unless he took a wrong turn," acknowledging that the president's propensity to discuss suburbia is rooted in coded language.

"I was raised in the suburbs," Biden said. "This is not 1950. All these dog whistles and racism don’t work anymore. Suburbs are by and large integrated.”

So far, Trump's effort to court women by promising to protect the suburbs doesn't appear to be resonating.

According to recent surveys by the New York Times and Siena College, the majority of women aren't threatened by racial integration (in fact, most welcome it) and don't believe the suburbs are in decline.

While Trump narrowly won the suburbs against Hillary Clinton in 2016, a Washington Post-ABC poll released in August projected Biden winning the suburbs by 8 points and suburban women, specifically, by 13 points.