There are just 19 days left in the 2020 US presidential election, and with President Donald Trump still refusing to virtually debate former Vice President Joe Biden, the circus surrounding the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and rising COVID-19 numbers across the States, everything feels appropriately chaotic and unpredictable.
In the midst of all this, the two candidates' families have received an increased amount of attention as well, with news cycles revolving around how First Lady Melania Trump, and his youngest son Barron, tested positive for COVID-19. Biden's son, Hunter, who was at the crux of the Ukraine scandal that led to Trump's impeachment late last year, has also been in the news, with unverified reports now claiming Hunter Biden allegedly met with an adviser to a Ukrainian energy company.
Meanwhile, Trump's other sons, Eric and Don Jr., have been throwing Twitter punches at the Biden campaign, claiming the allegations against Biden’s son prove the Democratic nominee is “compromised by China," a favourite Republican talking point. But, Biden's supporter base fought back on Twitter, where thousands demanded that Eric Trump's dealings in the Ukraine also be investigated.
But amid what's turned into a messy Battle of The Large Adult Sons, we are left wondering one thing: Where exactly is Ivanka Trump?
The eldest Trump daughter played an active role in her father’s 2016 campaign. While her then-ubiquitous presence was a transparent attempt to appeal to women voters — particularly mothers and young professionals — she has taken more of a backseat this time around. Ivanka is still on the campaign trail for her father, but she hasn’t been in the same spotlight as she was four years ago, when she made regular appearances at campaign rallies, an aesthetic gesture toward stability amid the generally unhinged nature of the Trump campaign.
During the president’s 2016 campaign, Ivanka played the role of pushing her father’s extreme agenda along in a less aggressive way, with some deluded liberals even hoping she would be a “moderating force” for the president. As such, Ivanka served both as a campaign surrogate and “daddy’s little girl,” who joined him at rallies and introduced him at the 2016 Republican National Convention as a leader in women’s rights who fights hard for workers.
In reality, the president has long opposed workers rights and labour unions, and has a credible history of violence against women. Still, Ivanka frequently played to women voters, speaking to them about her father’s plans to fight for them, while focusing specifically on labour rights for working mothers. As a mother and entrepreneur herself, Ivanka channelled a more traditional femininity in her efforts to show conservative women that they can have it all, especially if they backed Trump.
But this no longer seems to be the strategy for the Trump campaign, which is struggling to win support from women voters in 2020. With just three weeks left in this election, Biden has consistently won out against Trump with women voters by a remarkable 18.6 percentage points on average, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
Not only is Trump stumbling with women voters, he is losing steam across the board. According to RealClearPolitics, the president is trailing Biden by nearly 10 points in national polls, and also appears to be falling behind in key battleground states, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Of course, that doesn't mean a Biden win is a sure thing: Trump also trailed in polls in several swing states at this point in his 2016 campaign, before winning them by a narrow margin, Politico reports.
Nevertheless, there is one very important distinction in polling this year. With a sweeping change to voting by mail in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, the election is already underway as more than 14 million American people have cast their ballots so far.
But it is curious that Trump's clear-favourite child, who he has, uh, joked that he would "date if she weren't my daughter," seems to be missing from all of the family chaos this time around. Back in 2016, many speculated that Ivanka's role in the campaign was perhaps more important that even Melania's. And when Ivanka was appointed to the job of White House Senior Advisor along with her husband, Jared Kushner, she seemed to solidify her influence, perhaps in an attempt to one day assume office herself.
With Trump's popularity at an all-time low among everyone but his die-hard base, and Ivanka's reputation now forever aligned with that of the rest of her grifting family's, it makes sense that she might not want to stick so closely to her father's side at every possible moment. So, where is Ivanka Trump? Well, besides working on her next Goya endorsement, she might just be trying to figure out the best way to rehabilitate her image once she's forced to move out of the White House for good.