Most of what Trump has said and done in the past several months has been an attempt to re-frame the 2020 presidential election around "law and order" rather than his own failed record, but that does not appear to be working.
You may have noticed that presidential polling has been relatively stable for months even after both parties hosted their conventions and a new poll shows only 13 percent of the public is buying what Trump is selling.
These are really bad numbers among Trump's own core base of support.
Over half of the country -- 55% -- in the new poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' Knowledge Panel, said they think Trump is aggravating the situation, while just over one in 10 Americans, 13%, said they think he is making it better. Fewer than one-third, 29%, believe what Trump has said on the topic has had no effect on the protests over racial injustice.
Among his base, 30% of Republicans say the president is improving the situation, compared to 26% who say he's having an adverse impact. Only 18% of white, non-college educated Americans, another core constituency for the president, believe he is having a positive effect on the protests, while 41% view his comments on the demonstrations amid the debate over racial equality as having a negative influence.
That's surprisingly bad.
Trump's problem here is that "law and order" has not worked the way he thinks it will since the Nixon administration.
Trump has warned "suburban housewives" that Joe Biden will unleash Senator Cory Booker as the next housing secretary to -- I don't know -- push young black men into their streets to rob them, or something, but Trump chose the least threatening villain of all time.
Cory Booker is a harmless vegan with the same energy as a neighborhood milkman, but he's black and that makes him a worthy boogeyman from Trump's point of view.
The “suburban housewife” will be voting for me. They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood. Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with Corey Booker in charge! @foxandfriends @MariaBartiromo
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2020
The suburbs of today do not look like suburbs did the last time Trump's "law and order" message actually resonated among white suburbanites enough to matter. Black people and other minorities already live in suburbs in the year 2020 because it's the only place many of us can afford to live. Trump's federal rent-a-thugs directed by the likes of Attorney General Bill Barr and DHS Secretary Chad Wolf are far more frightening to me than my black and Hispanic neighbors who aren't frightening at all. Just seeing a cop outside my building makes me nervous. My neighbors don't.
Trump's own image as a raucous showman also probably limits the effect his message could ever have because everyone know he lives to stir shit, not clean it up. Making things worse is his thing.