President Bill Clinton introduced America to the “soccer mom,” anxiously shuttling her children across swing state suburbs in her minivan. President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign found another cutesy moniker, dubbing those voters worried about terrorism after the attacks of Sept. 11 “security moms.”
President Trump’s handling of the pandemic is generating an entirely different sentiment, one not traditionally bestowed upon female voters or mothers.
“I am a rage mom,” said Senator Patty Murray, the highest-ranking woman in Senate leadership. “Well, a rage nana, at this point, as my granddaughter would say.”
With millions of American families facing an uncertain start to the school year, the struggle for child care, education and economic stability is fueling a political uprising, built on the anger of women who find themselves constantly — and indefinitely — expected to be teacher, caregiver, employee and parent.
As the pandemic roars on, voters across America remain deeply angry and worried about the future. But the vocal outrage from women, in particular, is clear on protest lines and in polling data. Women were more likely than men to report having participated in protests over the past two years, and mothers with children in the home were twice as likely as fathers to report participating in a protest, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll from June.
Now, the rage moms are railing in Facebook groups about school shutdowns and in teacher union meetings about reopening without proper protection from the virus. They’re also packing virtual town halls with frustrations about schools, child care and the lack of leadership.
“There’s nobody giving us solutions,” said Kim Lopez, a mother of three in Glendale, Ariz., and part-time financial assistant, who is still unsure what her children’s schooling will look like this year. Ms. Lopez said she never considered herself political until this summer, when she brought her children to a small Black Lives Matter protest in the Phoenix suburbs. “It’s as if they don’t care what happens to families.”
Ms. Lopez is exactly the kind of voter Democrats hope will push them to victory in November, and they are aiming to turn that frustration with government inaction into a vote against Mr. Trump.