Biden and Republican Allies Focus on Swaying GOP Women in Key Swing-state Suburbs

Biden and Republican Allies Focus on Swaying GOP Women in Key Swing-state Suburbs

Thirty miles north of Philadelphia, luxury developments like Colonial Commons cut between dairy farms, centuries-old roadside stone cottages, and the winding Neshaminy Creek that runs between Doylestown and Newtown. Both cities were previously rural outposts but have since transformed into fashionable commercial, dining, and shopping destinations.

This is one of the most highly monitored issues in US politics. President Joe Biden increased his numbers in Bucks County, which includes both cities, on his way to retaking Pennsylvania from Republican Donald Trump four years ago, and won by a large margin among suburban women in the state.

Biden and his allies are attempting to emulate Democrats’ success with suburban women this year, implying that they can gain a small number of Republican women who may be hostile to a second Trump administration. However, in dozens of interviews conducted this month in Pennsylvania’s Bucks County, there was little evidence that conventional Republicans were willing to leave Trump, the expected GOP nominee, in large numbers.

“I feel like I have to vote for the policies, not the person,” said Lynn Natale, 62, an interior designer. While Natale critiqued Trump’s rhetorical style (“It’s as if he doesn’t have the words to speak directly to women”), she backed Trump’s economic and immigration policies.

“The alternative is unacceptable,” she explained.

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A dozen volunteers gathered in Biden’s Bucks County campaign office on a recent beautiful Saturday afternoon. The group fanned out throughout politically diverse neighborhoods in Doylestown, knocking on the doors of registered Republican voters and those unconnected with either major party to inquire about the topics that most affected them.

In addition to the Biden campaign’s outreach in politically divided and Republican-voting neighborhoods in Bucks County, conservative groups such as Women4Us and Republican supporters Against Trump are mobilizing in suburban Philadelphia in the hopes of luring away GOP supporters.

Stephanie Sharp of Women4Us noted that former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley received 22% of the vote in the four-county suburban Philadelphia bloc in the April Republican presidential primary. This turned into 42,032 votes earned by Haley six weeks after she ceased her campaign, in what appeared to be a protest vote against Trump.

“Pennsylvania’s closed Republican primary demonstrated an appetite for something better,” said Sharp, whose organization plans to reach out to Republican women in the most competitive presidential election states, including Pennsylvania.

“Republican women have had enough of our votes being taken for granted,” Sharp told the crowd.

Trump’s campaign team is convinced that inflation and illegal immigration will draw suburban women to the former president, who will headline a rally in Philadelphia Saturday.

“President Trump is speaking to women when he discusses the sky-high cost of rent, groceries, and gas in Biden’s America,” Trump’s national press secretary Karoline Leavitt stated. “President Trump is speaking to women when he talks about the migrant crime that has ravaged suburban communities.” According to AP VoteCast, an extensive survey of voters nationwide, approximately six in ten suburban women in Pennsylvania voted for Biden in 2020, whereas four in ten opted for Donald Trump. However, many suburban women are dissatisfied with this year’s competition, a tendency that is shared by Americans as a whole, according to public polling.

According to a recent KFF survey of suburban women voters, around six out of ten are dissatisfied with their presidential options. Approximately half of respondents who identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party said their major dissatisfaction with Biden stemmed from his age or mental and physical health.

Other worries raised by a far lower proportion of Democratic-leaning suburban women included the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the economy, and his effectiveness as president.

Suburban women voters were considerably more likely to say Biden appreciates women than Trump. around 7 in 10 suburban women voters said Biden appreciates women a lot or some, while only around 3 in 10 suburban women said the same about Trump. Nearly seven out of ten suburban women believe Trump has little or no regard for women.

However, when questioned about the most significant problem for their 2024 vote, suburban women were most likely to mention inflation.

Terry Sykes, the proprietor of the boutique and spa on Newtown’s picturesque State Street, believes the local economy is most important to her.

It thrived, she claimed, during Trump’s presidency, “like turning on a light switch.”

“To be clear, all of Trump’s policy positions support how I live my life,” Sykes, 61, stated. “Well, he is who he is. And women must get over it. Because it is all about policy and the state of our economy.”

Anusha Bela, who works from a laptop at a coffee shop in Doylestown’s bustling downtown, was a more ardent Biden supporter at first, but was disappointed by his tardy response to Israel’s violence in Gaza.

“And do I prefer someone younger? Yes. Do I favor someone who appears to have newer ideas? Yes,” responded the 40-year-old sports business consultant, wearing a Philadelphia Phillies cap.

“But Trump is a danger to democracy,” she warned.

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