But the diversification of the suburbs extends even to the classic “bedroom” communities of the Northeast, like the suburbs of New York City and Washington, DC. Of the 488 US counties the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program classifies as suburban in larger metropolitan areas, the White share of the population fell in 468 of them from 2000 to 2019, according to calculations by demographer William Frey.
Trump may find some receptive ears among suburbanites of all races for his attempt to portray himself as a human wall protecting them from chaos and disorder in the cities, political strategists agree. But the suburbs’ growing diversity means he faces a vastly different, and more difficult, audience than Richard Nixon did when making similar arguments half a century ago.
“The heart of it is people’s image of the suburbs don’t match what the suburbs are today, because the demographics have changed so significantly,” says John Feinblatt, president of the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, which is investing heavily in political races across the Sun Belt suburbs this year. “The suburbs are less like more rural counties and far more like urban centers, both in how they identify politically and what they look like.”