At the 1968 Republican National Convention, Richard Nixon made an appeal to voters in the suburbs concerned about racial unrest across the United States after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. They helped deliver him the presidency that year, cementing suburbanites’ role as an integral voting bloc.
The 2020 election is also taking place against a backdrop of mass protests and unrest over racial justice. And speaker after speaker at the Republican National Convention has the used the themes and language of 1968 to play on the perceived fears of suburban voters — cities on fire, the need to restore law and order.
But a strategy that worked for Richard Nixon in 1968 might not be effective for Donald Trump in 2020.
Today, we speak to Emily Badger about the power of the suburban vote and explore whether Republican messaging on the Black Lives Matter protests and law and order will land.
Guest: Emily Badger, who covers cities and urban policy for The New York Times
For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily
- The Republican National Convention has presented the president as a steady steward of the country’s promise — a message that seemed tailored to suburban voters.
- President Trump is attempting to win over suburban voters by playing to their perceived fears. But polls show they disapprove of the president’s job performance in general and his handling of race relations in particular.