Democrats are increasingly worried Trump's 'law and order' message is resonating with swing-state voters

  • Democrats have warned Joe Biden's advisers that Trump's "law and order" message and images of unrest in American cities risked alienating supporters in mid-west swing states. 
  • Biden has backed anti-racism protests, but after the warning delivered a speech in Pittsburgh condemning violence and looting at protests. 
  • A POLITICO poll shows that support for anti-racism protests is declining since June, which may indicate that Trump's attacks are helping to sway voters. 
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Democrats told top advisers to presidential nominee Joe Biden that President Donald Trump's "law and order" message and images of disorder during anti-racism protests risked undermining Biden in mid-western swing states, reported The Washington Post Wednesday. 

According to the report, Biden's campaign was caught off-guard by unrest last week in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after the shooting of Black man Jacob Blake by police and violence between pro-Trump and Black Lives Matter supporters in Portland, Oregon. 

It swiftly responded by scheduling a series of events for the presidential nominee in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and in Michigan.

The Republicans narrowly flipped Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin in 2016, and retaining the support of their white, working-class voters is key for Trump if he is to win again in November. 

Minnesota voted Democrat in 2016, but party strategists fear that it's among the blue-leaning states most vulnerable in November. Meanwhile, In Michigan, Biden's lead has been cut down to +4, from a peak of +10.

In Pittsburgh, Biden delivered a nationally televised speech where he denounced violence at protests and defended Americans' right to demonstrate against racial injustice. 

"I want to be very clear about all of this: Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It's lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted," Biden said. "Violence will not bring change, it will only bring destruction. It's wrong in every way."

In response, Trump visited Kenosha Tuesday, inspecting buildings burnt to the ground in the unrest, and seeking to pin the blame for the violence on Biden. 

In recent weeks the Trump campaign has relentlessly focused on civil unrest and violence at anti-racism protests, and at last week's RNC sought to portray the president as the last bastion of law and order. 

Trump has sought to portray the protests as the work of Democrat-backed left-wing extremists and agitators. 

He has attacked the Black Lives Matter movement in interviews and has refused to condemn a 17-year old supporter accused of shooting dead two protesters in Kenosha.

In Portland, Aaron J. Danielson, who was wearing the cap of the far-right Patriot Prayer group when he was killed on Saturday in clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and Trump supporters who drove in a motorcade through the city. 

Recent polls show that support for the anti-racism protests that have swept America since the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in May has declined. 

A POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday showed support for the protests down 9 percent since June. Most respondents also believed that Biden was more suited than Trump to handle public safety. 

However, on the same day, a national Reuter/Ipsos poll showed that the coronavirus pandemic was still the US public's top concern and a majority remain sympathetic to anti-racism protests.

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