Why Democrats are worried about Kenosha

Indeed, the story of the protests has been that voters don’t necessarily like the actions of the protesters, but they really don’t like Trump on the issue either. Biden is still overwhelmingly trusted over Trump when it comes to race relations.

The key for Trump is that he does considerably better on the issue of crime. By an 8-point margin in a recent ABC News/Washington Post national poll, voters say Biden would be worse on “safety from crime” than Trump has been as President. It’s one of the few issues where Biden did not have a substantial advantage over Trump in an August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

If the protests are seen as a crime issue, it benefits Trump. If they’re seen more through the lens of race relations, it’s to his detriment. That’s why you don’t really see Trump give any ground to the protesters, and why you see Biden trying to balance praise for the protests with condemnation of those committing violent acts of protests.

The trend has clearly been in the direction Trump wishes to be on how the protests are seen, though the issue is far from a winner for him.