“Suburban women, will you please like me? Please. Please. I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?”
Woman wearing Trump can grab my...

Channel 4’s Colleen Marshall is the matriarch of local broadcast news, so when she recently mentioned many Central Ohio suburban women are still undecided for President, some of us took serious pause.

Is it possible that thousands of educated and successful local women are still undecided and wavering whether to go with crotch-grabbing Trump as they did in 2016?

That’s all Columbus needs in its decades-long effort to attract and retain young professionals so to become as hip as Austin – another Trump victory.

Try not to cringe too hard or you could injure yourself, but as many are aware, the polls are neck-and-neck. RealClear Politics as of Sunday (Oct. 18) has Trump 46.5% to Biden 46%. Keep in mind women now vote more than men, a lot more: 73 million women voted in 2016 compared to 63 million men.

Nationally, polls and the mainstream media keep echoing that suburban women are bailing on Trump. This may not be the case for Upper Arlington, Dublin, Westerville, Canal Winchester, Grove City, Delaware and Licking County.

Last week in Cincinnati, Ivanka Trump told hundreds of invite-only supporters, “We’re going to win Ohio.”

Did Ivanka’s nose grow a bit there?

‘No’ says the Columbus-based Matriots, a non-partisan Ohio political action committeeadvocating since 2017 to put more women in local and statewide political office.

“We are aware of this, and it’s an interesting phenomenon. There are far more woman undecided at the presidential level because of our unprecedented times,” says Matriots’ interim executive director Kim Croffoot-Suede. “Especially when we are thinking of issues the Matriots hold very dear. Which is the safety of their communities, access to healthcare, access to reproductive healthcare, access to safe schools and safe learning environment for their children.”

“These issues are compelling, and I think the undecided women and the values they hold are not being necessarily addressed at the Presidential level.”

Undecided Ohio women suburban voters – especially those who voted against Hillary in 2016 – perhaps reflects the shatter-proof political glass ceiling that has influenced Ohio women over the past century.

Ohio is 51% female and women make up 55% of Ohio voters. Yet the Ohio General Assembly has been no more than 25% female since women were first admitted to the state legislature in 1922, and only 150 women have served in the Ohio legislature since that time, according to the Matriots, which also recently found that as of 2018-2019, out of 17,412 elected offices at all levels of government in Ohio, just 29% are held by women. 

The Matriots’ long-term goal is to see 50% of all political offices in Ohio held by women.

Croffoot-Suede suggests undecided Central Ohio suburban women may be undecided this Presidential Election because of a single woman – Kamala Harris. By the way, inspiration to create the Matriots was born at the Women’s March on Washington in 2017. 

“I am personally curious as to whether Kamala is making people kind of think twice, ‘Maybe I should be undecided?’” she says. “A lot of these women were not undecided four years ago. What I can say is, college educated women or non-educated women tend to be frustrated by a lack of representation. Women’s issues are not addressed unless women are sitting at the table.”

But why too many Central Ohio suburban are still gaga for Trump may have a far more basic answer – the obsession for more wealth and bragging rights. An eye-popping bank account, the oversized home with new updates, a new luxury vehicle, the need for more and more, which is probably never enough, is probably keeping some suburban women with Trump. 

The Free Press’s friend Lynne Tramonte, director of the Ohio Immigrant Alliance, says for many suburban women, voting for Trump or Biden has little to do with policy.

“What I have distilled is that there are two different value sets,” says Tramonte, who advocates for undocumenteds who work tirelessly to process the food for our families, among many other backbreaking,  thankless, and low-paying jobs they do for suburban women. “The differences between Trump and Biden supporters don’t start with policy, they stem from values and who you think matters as a human. Do you put yourself and your family at the center of everything, or do you believe you are part of a broader, interdependent society?”

Agitating racists is a Trump dog-whistle, but he also foments the greedy, enticing them with law-and-order, open-up-the-schools rhetoric.

“Those who look inward choose Trump, because he’s only about himself and his inner ring,” says Tramonte. “Those who look outward are choosing the alternative. A society that is myopic and turns inward is a dying society. An inclusive society that builds systems to improve outcomes for everyone is dynamic and growing.”

A recent poll taken by the non-partisan All In Together, which included nearly all Battleground states, found suburban women are voting Biden 55% over Trump 41%.

Many polls say the only group of women still for Trump are non-college educated white women, which in 2016 went a stunning 64% for Trump to Hilary’s 34%.

It’s no different in 2020 – an All In Together poll taken in September found this same demographic supports Trump 59% to 38% for Biden.

What is perhaps telling about the All In Together suburban women poll, however, is that one Battleground state was left out of the polling.

And that was Ohio.