‘Please Like Me,’ Trump Begged. For Many Women, It’s Way Too Late.

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  • ‘Please Like Me,’ Trump Begged. For Many Women, It’s Way Too Late.

She and her team are particularly proud of their large presence on social media. One recent viral effort featured women posting photos of themselves in aprons and curlers with Democratic campaign signs while holding cocktails, a spoof on Mr. Trump’s Twitter appeals to the “Suburban Housewives of America.”

Ms. Paris and the Democrats hope to repeat the strategy that won their party control of the House in 2018, driving up their margins among suburban women in swing districts.

They have some reason for optimism: Four years ago, Mr. Trump won Ohio by eight percentage points. Now, polling shows a tied race. Still, Ohio may remain out of reach for Democrats this year. The 2018 strategy was far less succesful there than elsewhere in the Midwest, and the popular incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown was the only Democrat to win statewide. The perennial swing state has trended Republican recently, and plenty of female voters still support the president.

“I’ve heard people say, ‘How can you vote for Trump when you’re a woman and the things he says about women?’” said Rachel Antonelli, 35, a banker in Delaware, Ohio, who is pregnant with her second child and plans to vote for Mr. Trump. “Personally, what I care about is that he gets things done for the country.”

Since the summer of racial justice protests and unrest around the country, Republicans have tried to woo back white suburban women with a focus on “law and order,” stoking racial fears and depicting the increasingly diverse suburbs as the sole province of white, affluent families. According to William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, white people made up 77 percent of the population in inner-ring suburbs in 1990; today they are 58 percent, he said.

The women in Columbus, who are all white, described the killing of George Floyd as a seminal event in their political awakenings, one that drew attention to issues of racism and police violence beyond their personal purview.

“I’m not going to lie and say, like, in February, I was worried about racism in America,” said Ms. Rabinovitch, who has a 4-year-old son. “Like, I wasn’t.”

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