[I]t was suburbia—not large cities—that delivered the over-the-top margins that put Joe Biden in the White House. And in at least a handful of cities in key battleground states this month, Trump actually ran slightly better than in 2016.
This is simply a basic, irrefutable fact, confirmed by a number of reputable sources. Broadly speaking, Trump didn’t do significantly worse in this country’s major cities in 2020 than he did in 2016. As the Politico article notes, he managed to do this by pitting races against each other.
But trying to pin the blame on the suburbanites who coalesced to vote him out is a much more complicated task. While the suburbs of large metropolitan areas have grown increasingly diverse, they’re not dramatically more diverse than they were in 2016.
While big cities delivered large tranches of votes for Biden in battleground states, it was the increasingly diverse and Democratic-trending suburbs that provided the blowout margins for him. The suburbs in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan came out strongly for Biden, making up for the fact that he matched Clinton while Trump grew his support in key cities.
And yet we have heard not a peep about this voting bloc from the Trump campaign. Where are the hysterical allegations of fraud, and ballot-stuffing, and whatever other nonsense he’s leveled at inner cities?
Nowhere. Because they don’t fit the narrative he’s fed to his credulous, susceptible voting base. The fact that people wealthier, more educated, and worst of all (to them)—mostly of the same race as that base—flushed Trump’s hopes of reelection down the proverbial toilet is just too inconvenient for Trump to face.
To accept that fact would mean acknowledging that some of those fabled “elites,” for many of Trump’s voters, are their own children, who left the so-called “heartland” for the Big City. It would mean acknowledging that these voters have actually experienced life among people of other races (unlike the Fox News-watching crowd who get all their information about Black and Latinx people filtered through a lens of racist propaganda), and that those people might actually know a little bit more than they do.
It would mean conceding that all of Trump’s claims blaming his loss on “voter fraud” in the inner cities are in themselves fraudulent.
It would mean admitting their Dear Leader is a big fat liar. It would blow a big hole in their soothing self-assurance that the whole electoral process was somehow illegitimate.
And that would just be too painful a truth to bear.
But perhaps even more importantly, it would totally undercut that same theme of Democratic “illegitimacy” that Trump intends to wield like a cudgel as he plans to enrich himself at everyone else’s expense over the next four years and beyond. And it would also, incidentally, blow a huge hole in the strategy of the opportunistic Republicans who intend to follow this line of thought all the way through 2024.
In other words, it would show that this whole charade about voter fraud is in fact, a bald-faced lie. And that could bring the whole Trump con job crashing down.
Trump can’t handle the truth. And neither can his voters.