Which group leads off an analysis of key voters in the 2020 midterms? Suburban voters:
During the Trump years, many suburban voters, especially women, shifted toward the Democrats. A primary reason was the revulsion many of them felt toward President Donald Trump.
Democrats hoped that shift signaled a more permanent alignment, and it’s true that some college-educated White women became a key part of the Democratic constituency. But what happened in the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial race raised doubts about their reliability as Democrats. Then-candidate and now-Gov. Glenn Youngkin was able to move the suburban vote back in the Republicans’ direction…
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake agreed that her party’s candidates cannot take suburban women for granted in November. “Women elected Biden for stability and in reaction to Trump,” she said. “They really rejected his style of leadership. But we had one woman say in a focus group, ‘I just want to get off this roller coaster.’ ” Under Biden so far, she added, “They’re getting no help in doing that.”…
“Suburban women have moved so far the opposite direction, we’re not going to get all of them back right away. But if we can at least win back a good amount of the suburban men that we lost and some of the suburban women, that’s a formula for us to win in pretty much every state that we need to win in,” said a Senate GOP strategist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could speak openly about the races they are working on.
The bottom line is that any notable move by suburban voters in the direction of the Republicans this fall will prove costly to Democratic hopes of holding down their losses. But a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade could counter GOP efforts to woo suburban women.
Suburban voters continue to be important in multiple ways:
-They matter in important swing states where both parties would like to win. Think Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Arizona, Florida, and other locations.
-Compared to urban and rural voters, the perception is that more suburbanites are open to switching their votes or are more moderate. Thus, campaign pitches will be aimed toward them with the goal of swaying them to a particular side (maybe just for one election).
-The analysis above suggests there is a divide between suburban men and women and the issues that they care about. Will there be unified messages to suburban voters or will the campaigns clearly differentiate between male and female voters?
-Suburban voters can be reached in particular ways. Will there be big social media campaigns? An endless stream of materials in the mail and through text messages (what I have experienced in recent months in the suburbs)?
To paraphrase a famous slogan, this could be one rallying cry: “suburban voters of the United States, unite!”
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