Presidential Candidates Make Their Cases To The Suburban Voters

Friday, October 16th 2020, 12:48 pm
By: CBS News

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden both have their eye on one very large group of voters: Americans living in the suburbs.

A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development survey finds more than half of all Americans identify as suburbanites, and election watchers caution against broad generalizations about how this group will vote in 2020.

With the HUD study finding 52% of Americans identifying as suburban dwellers, President Trump has been sharpening his message to suburbanites. The president claims a Joe Biden victory will mean more crime and more low-income housing.

"I’m about law and order. I’m about having you safe. I’m about having your suburban communities, I don’t wanna build to low-income housing next to your house, OK, if that's OK,” the president said.

Trump took a similar hardline on immigration during the 2016 campaign and narrowly won suburban voters.

But Biden argues he knows the suburbs better.

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

That's also what Case Western Reserve University professor Kathryn Lavelle has observed.

"If we learned anything in the last election, I think we learned the difficulties of pigeonholing voters. Here's a White woman in the suburbs, here's an African American male in the city,” she said.

Lavelle said Ohio's suburban voters tend to have complex political preferences that avoid the extremes.

"People have their own views and voting for them is emotional, and they don't like to be characterized one way or another, and they certainly don't like it when people assume things about them," she said.

About 30 minutes south of Cleveland, Ohio, residents in Chagrin Falls, a self-described suburban village, are ready to vote.

Four years ago, more chose the Democratic ticket, but back in 2012, the precinct went Republican.

“I made up my mind, I did. It's been set for a very long time and I'm ready. I'm ready to kind of get this over with it,” said resident Patrick McNeely.

“I'm a Trumpster. I voted for him in 2016 because he wasn't a politician. He's a businessman and that's the kind of person that I want running this country,”

resident Dan Ducca said.

In the final stretch of the campaign, both candidates will be battling it out for the suburbs, where voters have a big role in choosing the next president.