Trump Ran as the Nation’s NIMBY in Chief. It Didn’t Work.
President Donald Trump ran a NIMBY-inflected (“not in my backyard”) campaign designed to scare suburban voters into supporting him. It doesn’t appear to have worked.
“Suburban counties across the country turned away from President Trump in this election,” reported The New York Times this morning. “That includes suburbs in the Midwest and the Sun Belt, in inner-ring counties and those farther out, in predominantly white communities and more diverse ones.”
Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden improved on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 performance in suburban counties by nearly 5 percent on average, and up to 8 percent in suburban, surprisingly swingy Georgia, says the Times.
That matches data parsed by Indeed chief economist and urban demography wonk Jed Kolko, who found that Biden improved Democrats’ lead in higher-density suburbs while putting a dent in Trump’s lead in lower-density suburban areas, compared to the last presidential election.
The suburbs swung most toward Biden — by about 5 points.
(Urban counties inched slightly toward Trump, though the urban counties have the least complete data still.)
— Jed Kolko (@JedKolko) November 6, 2020
This result comes in spite of months of repeated warnings from the president that a Biden administration would result in suburbanites’ tidy, single-family-zoned communities being overrun by high-density housing, low-income renters, and general urban dysfunction.
“A once-unthinkable agenda, a relentless push for more high-density housing in single-family residential neighborhoods, has become the mainstream goal of the left,” wrote Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson in The Wall Street Journal back in August. “We will save our cities, from which these terrible policies have come, and we will save our suburbs.”
“Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream. I will preserve it, and make it even better!” Trump tweeted at the “Suburban Housewi
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