Donald Trump undercuts pitch to women, older voters


Donald Trump has begun openly acknowledging his precarious re-election chances, butis undercutting his own campaign’s attempts to tailor appeals to women and seniors as polls show them flocking toward Joe Biden. Recent polls have shown Biden with growing leads nationally and in key battleground states, an advantage driven largely by erosion in Trump’s support among women and people 65 and older. Trump’s campaign has begun running more ads aimed at seniors, and hopes some of the loss can be offset by gains among Latino and Black voters.

But the campaign’s efforts to reverse the trends face a headwind: Trump himself. The president has undercut the outreach to seniors by continuing to downplay the coronavirus outbreak and by mocking Biden’s age.

He’s tested what support he still enjoys from women by unloading particularly pointed attacks on Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, and by mocking Hillary Clinton’s failure to crack the “glass ceiling” on the White House. And a televised town hall Thursday was almost immediately derailed by Trump declining to disavow a far-right conspiracy theory movement, QAnon.

Meanwhile, the prospect he may lose re-election has begun to creep into Trump’s speeches, even as he insists that polls are wrong. “I’m running against the worst candidate in the history of presidential politics, and if I lose, it puts more pressure,” Trump said at a rally Thursday in North Carolina. “How do you lose to a guy like this?” He has reprised a version of that remark at most of his events this week while pointing to signs that polls may not capture the state of the race.

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