[Marxism] As Suburban Women Turn to Democrats, Many Suburban Men Stand With Trump
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Sun Oct 14 09:38:57 MDT 2018
NY Times, Oct. 13, 2018
As Suburban Women Turn to Democrats, Many Suburban Men Stand With Trump
By Trip Gabriel
DUBLIN, Ohio — Robert Peters and George Fidelibus walked off the 18th
green at the Golf Club of Dublin, then carried pints of beer to the
patio overlooking the course, which was framed by $500,000 homes.
Their conversation quickly turned to the president.
“I’m feeling better and better about him all the time,” said Mr. Peters,
63, a retired engineer, who had once been cool to Mr. Trump.
Mr. Fidelibus, 75, a retired banker in a Calloway hat, had also once
been skeptical of the president’s bullying and lack of self-control.
“I’m a supporter of Trump now,” he said “He may not always say things
the way most presidents before him said them, but what does it matter?
They didn’t get the job done.”
As an edgy, divided nation heads into a crucial election, much of the
attention is focused on the anti-Trump animus of suburban women, which
seems to have gained a few degrees in intensity over the Supreme Court
confirmation of Brett M. Kavanaugh.
Much less examined are their male counterparts. While recent polls show
that white women with a college degree favor Democratic House candidates
by a large margin, 20 points or more, white college-educated men — who
focus more singularly on economic issues, according to surveys — are a
potential bulwark for the president and his party. It is especially true
in suburban battleground districts that are likely to help decide the
next House majority.
White men without a college degree were Mr. Trump’s most reliable
supporters, but they made up only 33 percent of his total vote.
College-educated white men were also essential to putting him over the top.
One reason for their continued support now: White college-educated men
have benefited unequally in the Trump economy. While the president’s
favorite barometer of success, the stock market, is up 26 percent since
he took office, individual stock ownership is concentrated among people
in the upper income brackets, who are far more likely to be white. The
Republican tax cut also delivered higher benefits to whites than to
blacks or Latinos, according to a recent study.
These men, largely Trump voters whose support for him has solidified
since his election, are business owners and sales executives,
veterinarians and lawyers — men who largely wouldn’t be caught dead at a
Trump rally chanting “Lock her up!”
They may cringe at a president who humiliates cabinet secretaries and
foreign allies, and who utters a stream of easily disproved falsehoods.
But many have quietly struck a bargain with Mr. Trump: They will
overlook his trampling of presidential norms because he is delivering
just what they want on the economy, deregulation, immigration and
“He’s tough, he’s a bully, but boy things are getting done,” said JD
Kaplan, who runs a graphics business from his home on a neatly
landscaped block in Dublin, an affluent suburb of Columbus. Mr. Kaplan,
63, who is a Republican activist, moved years ago from northeast Ohio’s
struggling Rust Belt, where a younger brother still runs Kaplan
Furniture, a store their grandfather founded.
“Whether it was Obama who started it or not, the economy’s better,” he
said. “I see my brother’s businesses are doing better, my graphics
business is doing better, my wife’s got a better job.’’
Dublin is in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, where Troy Balderson, a
Republican, squeaked out a 1-point victory in a special election in August.
Mr. Balderson is on the ballot again on Nov. 6 against the same
Democratic opponent, Danny O’Connor. The race has dropped out of the
national spotlight it held during the summer, but the same dynamics are
at work: whether Mr. O’Connor, an official in Franklin County, which
includes most of Dublin, can attract enough votes in the suburbs to
offset rural conservatives who favor Mr. Balderson.
Here, as elsewhere around the country, the vote has become largely a
referendum on the president.
Interviews in August and on a recent return visit showed that while Mr.
Trump is losing droves of white women with college degrees, many of
their male counterparts now strongly support him.
They are country-club Republicans who long voted for business-friendly
politicians like Gov. John Kasich, who represented the 12th District in
the House and is the national face of never-Trump Republicans.
One Dublin man who is a former Ohio assistant attorney general, and who
now owns a manufacturing business, said he wrote in Mr. Kasich’s name in
2016, rather than cast a ballot for Mr. Trump. “But now I’m a big
supporter,” he said of the president.
He asked to be identified only by his first name, Sam, because he fears
a backlash for his business if he publicly supports the president.
“I feel he’s done a marvelous job,” he said.
He added: “I can’t stand his personality and behavior.”
Other men who back Mr. Trump in Dublin were also unwilling to let their
full names be used. They did not want to inflame clients, colleagues or
“Behind closed doors there’s very, very solid support,” for Mr. Trump,
said Charles McClenaghan, a lawyer, who is president of the Dublin
“I think that’s exactly why the polls got it wrong in 2016,” he
continued. “People felt intimidated, they felt bullied. They’re just not
going to talk politics. But when they get in the voting booth, they’re
going to look at the wonderful success he’s had.”
The college educated men said they sifted a wide variety of news
sources, from MSNBC to USA Today to Breitbart, and formed their own
opinions on Mr. Trump. Somehow, though, their views usually seemed to
confirm their partisan predispositions.
Some echoed the president’s own high opinion of his achievements, which
recently drew laughter at the United Nations. “I see him as being one of
the greatest presidents we’ve ever seen in this country if you’re
talking about the economy,” said Mr. Fidelibus, the golfer.
Like other Republican-held battleground seats that analysts say will
help determine the next House majority, the 12th District is whiter,
richer and better educated than the nation as a whole.
Its voters differ fundamentally from Mr. Trump’s winning coalition in
2016, which was anchored by white voters without a college degree,
primarily in the Midwest.
A Washington Post poll this week of 69 battleground House seats,
including Ohio’s 12th, found that white college-educated women preferred
Democratic candidates by an enormous 27-point margin, 62 percent to 35
The survey echoed an earlier one by Monmouth University of eight
battleground House districts, which found white college women favored
Democrats by a 21-point margin.
White college men, on the other hand, are up for grabs. They split
exactly 49 to 49 percent in their party preference in the Washington
Post poll. The Monmouth survey showed them favoring Republicans by six
Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth Poll, said there were major
differences in the issues that animate white college-educated men and women.
“The normal set of political concerns for men are which party is going
to give me lower taxes and less regulation,” Mr. Murray said. “Whereas
white college-educated women are saying, ‘I will do fine economically,
but I am really worried about the tone of the Trump presidency, I’m
worried about the direction this country is going.’”
Dublin, a growing city of 47,000, is the quintessence of the suburban
good life: 75 percent of adults graduated from college; the median
household income is $125,500.
Its most famous entrepreneur, Jack Nicklaus, is immortalized in bronze
alongside a boulevard entering Muirfield Village, a luxury golf and home
development he created in the 1970s.
On a recent Saturday afternoon, a Muirfield resident, Rick Vanover, took
in the Ohio State football game at the Bogey Bar and Grill. “How do I
feel about Trump? I’ll tell you,” he said. He punched up an app and held
his phone to display the digits 26,447, the Dow’s closing the day
before: once again near record territory. After the market’s 4 percent
slide this week, he said his support had not lessened.
“I’m a conservative with common sense,” said Mr. Vanover, a sales
executive for a Fortune 100 company.
The next day at the Golf Club of Dublin, two other players finished
their games, a veterinarian and a medical physicist, and sauntered into
the Tudor-style clubhouse, where they ordered chicken wings and beers.
The golfing buddies were on opposite sides of the nation’s roiling
political gulf, but had managed to remain friends. “Can I try one of
these?” the veterinarian said, reaching for the physicist’s plate of
Paul Lundahl, the physicist, who works in cancer treatment, said he had
long been apolitical, “reluctantly” voting in 2016 for Hillary Clinton
while not caring much about the outcome.
“I’ve never really considered myself a Republican or Democrat or
whatever,” he said.
But he has grown to detest Mr. Trump.
“I just cannot believe what comes out of that guy’s mouth every time he
speaks,” Mr. Lundahl said. “I feel like I’m on the playground as a
The veterinarian, who would only be identified by his first name, Steve,
was a fan of Mr. Trump’s.
He praised the Republican tax cut because it put more money in his
clients’ pockets, which has meant more of them come to his clinic for
heartworm and flea treatments for their pets.
“That helps me,” the veterinarian said. “So I don’t really care what the
president says. He’s a crude guy. It’s embarrassing. But what he’s done
is what he said he was going to do.”
He credited Mr. Trump for getting Justice Kavanaugh confirmed and for
meeting with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. “How many people
over the past 50 years between Obama and Clinton and Bush failed?” the
veterinarian said. “Who made the deals? Trump did.”
Mr. Lundahl has become so numb to the president’s trampling of political
norms, he said, that he recently decided not to talk anymore about Mr.
Trump. “It’s so exhausting,” he said.
There was a commotion on the TV above the bar. “Did the Steelers tie the
game?” the veterinarian said. “How’d they do that?”
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