Democrats are suddenly panicked about a swing-state backlash stemming from the unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin — a “battleground” state Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden must win in November — and it’s prompting a wave of distancing from prominent politicians, though not yet from Biden himself.
Both POLITICO and The New York Times report Thursday that chaos and unrest in the typically calm state of Wisconsin is already swaying undecided and swing-state voters who see the events in Kenosha as evidence of President Donald Trump’s dire message about the Left’s vision for America.
“As this battleground state grapples with social unrest, some Democrats fear that the looting and rioting and clashes are feeding Trump’s argument that this is what life would be like under the so-called radical left,” POLITICO notes. “The worry is that especially among suburban swing voters, the more upheaval and violence they witness, the more their sympathy for peaceful Black Lives Matters protesters will wane.”
The New York Times reports that the phenomenon is especially noteworthy in Wisconsin, where residents are witnessing the violence firsthand.
“The politically calculated warnings of President Trump and the Republican Party about chaos enveloping America should Democrats win in November are reverberating among some people in Kenosha, a small city in the southeast corner of one of the most critical states in this election, where protests have raged for a number of increasingly combustible nights,” the outlet noted.
“In Kenosha County, where the president won by fewer than 250 votes in 2016, those who already supported Mr. Trump said in interviews that the events of the past few days have simply reinforced their conviction that he is the man for the job. But some voters who were less sure of their choice said the chaos in their city and the inability of elected leaders to stop it were currently nudging them toward the Republicans,” The New York Times said.
Indeed, the change in poll numbers seems to track alongside a change in sentiment toward Black Lives Matter among Wisconsin residents. A poll out Thursday shows support for the racial justice movement has all but cratered in the battleground state. Just a month ago, support was at 68%. Last month alone, that dropped 20 points to 48%.
Over the past few days, Democrats, apparently noting the sea change, have begun distancing themselves from the violence they once ignored. Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser openly condemned protesters who disrupted diners, attempting to force restaurant-goers to raise their fists in solidarity with racial justice movements. Oregon’s governor, who has, at best, been ambivalent about violence in Portland and beyond, issued a stern warning to looters and rioters on Wednesday.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden has been struggling to find a coherent position on the issue, toeing the line between supporting protesters and the racial justice movement as a whole and condemning the ongoing violence. As The Daily Wire reported Thursday, Biden seemed to blame Trump for the unrest and suggested that Trump is stoking the flames of division in order to reap political benefits.