Though much has been made lately of polls showing that President Donald Trump is losing support among suburban women, those who attended Saturday’s Trump Truck Parade in New Jersey disagree.
The week before, a rally in Clark, New Jersey, drew between 200-300 vehicles, according to TapInto.net, and authorities expected more than 700 trucks for Saturday’s event through several towns in Union County. But the actual turnout surprised paradegoer LaRonda Gumm.
“So, we decided to go, kind of on a whim, just to see what it was all about, and to see what kind of support there would be. I expected 200, maybe 300 vehicles. The report from a police officer was that there were 2,000 vehicles,” Gumm told Newsweek. “That was extraordinary.”
Gumm said that she estimated that the turnout seemed roughly evenly split. Rosemary Barnett, another attendee at Saturday’s parade, agreed. “Definitely an equal number of women, possibly more than men,” Barnett told Newsweek. “Young ones, old ones, middle-aged ones.”
The attendance at the Trump Truck Parade was a contrast to polls suggesting that the president’s support among suburban women is waning. A study by advocacy group All in Together conducted between August 30 and September 1 reported that 48 percent of suburban women have a “very unfavorable” view of Trump personally. However, that may not be a dealbreaker when it comes to casting their ballots.
“This isn’t a personality contest. That’s the part that I hope that people focus on. Trump’s not inviting any of us to dinner, nor has he come into any of our dinner parties,” Gumm said. “In terms of his personality—is he rough and tumble? Clearly, he is. He’s a New Yorker. If anybody’s done business in New York, it’s down and dirty. Not that you don’t want a president to be ‘presidential.’ Certainly there’s the time and place for that. But Trump’s a guy who seems to get things done. And we need more of that. We need more forward movement.”
Barnett agreed and dismissed worries about Trump’s past.
“I think the people that are supporting him are not the people that are interested in what he might have said at one particular point of time. I don’t think anybody really cares that he was married more than once or that he’s had three wives and separate children from separate marriages. That isn’t the concern. The concern is what he’s doing for the country,” she said.
Barnett added that while she “never really cared for” Trump as a person and didn’t watch his reality TV show The Apprentice, her support of the president is “more about what he stands for.”
“I love everything he’s done for the country. And I like the fact that he has really tried to do—if not actually done it—everything he has said he was going to do, which is not something we’ve seen in in a politician. And I like the fact that he’s not a politician. Well, he wasn’t, now he is, but he wasn’t a politician,” she said.
“He is a straight-shooter. He’s not rhetorically gifted by any means, but he just speaks. And he says what he thinks, and sometimes it doesn’t come out right. But there’s just no pretense, there’s no nonsense. You don’t feel like it’s put on, scripted, or that he’s reading it. I don’t think he probably listens to the people who write to him. He just says what he thinks and says what he feels,” Barnett added.
Both Gumm and Barrett criticized the Democrats and presidential contender Joe Biden—despite Gumm being a registered Democrat.
“Trump’s clearly did a great job with the economy, he’s done a lot. He’s written, I think, nine different pieces of legislation for human trafficking and child trafficking. That means a lot to me,” Gumm said.
Barrett is worried about what some might call political correctness.
“Our country is in jeopardy at this point. And it’s in jeopardy of being taken over by people that are not allowing any other opinion or thought to be heard,” she said.
Gumm shared fears that Democrats are heading too far left.
“Kamala Harris scares me. She’s left of Bernie [Sanders], and socialized medicine—socialized anything—is not the American way,” she said.
Gumm and Barrett said that they’re not alone in feeling this way.
“It’s interesting. I do know a lot of Democrats that are voting Trump. And I know a lot of people of color that are voting Trump. I have some pretty close friends who are African American that are so pro-Trump,” Gumm said.
Trump has the support of suburban women, Barnett said, but they just aren’t always outspoken about their support.
“A lot of very highly educated suburban women feel this way. People are staying quiet—women are staying quiet. But there are a lot of us that feel exactly the same way. I think more than anyone realizes,” she said.
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