Classes observed by The Wall Street Journal at the candidate school included presentations from Facebook (“Campaigning in the Digital Age: Best Practices”), an expert on organized labor (“Building a Relationship With Unions”), a campaign consultant (“How to Run a Boots on the Ground Campaign”), current lawmakers (“How to Work With the NRCC,” referring to the National Republican Congressional Committee) and Ms. Chamberlain herself, who presented data her PAC collected from suburban focus groups (“What Suburban Women Want”). Ms. Chamberlain said much could be riding on the Democratic nominee for president. Suburban women in her focus groups like former Vice President Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., but don’t trust Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, she said. And frankly, she added, many of them dislike Mr. Trump, even if they are happy with the economy. “Donald Trump is the ex-husband they hate,” Ms. Chamberlain said.
Thirty-six of the 43 U.S. House seats that Democrats picked up in their wave election last year were in suburban districts, according to David Wasserman, the House race analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. People who identified themselves as suburbanites voted Democratic 53%-45%, according to AP Votecast, a survey of voters before and during Election Day. Those results, and more recent Republican losses in suburban areas of Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Louisiana and Kentucky have spooked Ms. Chamberlain and other moderate Republicans, who fear a suburban bloodbath in 2020 could cost the party not just the presidency, but the House and Senate as well.
“The trend in American politics has been that there’s a real education gap opening up amongst white voters,” said Kyle Kondik, who analyzes elections at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “White voters who have a four-year degree, who used to be the bedrock of the Republican Party—white-collar professionals basically—that group is trending more Democratic, and you can find a lot of those voters living in affluent suburban areas.”
The candidates studied a PowerPoint presentation by Ms. Chamberlain that listed GOP-supported legislation addressing issues that test well with suburban women, from parental leave and coverage for pre-existing conditions to newborn health screenings and tighter background checks for gun buyers. In a later class, former Rep. Doug Ose (R., Calif.) advised candidates not to avoid “unfriendly” Democratic-leaning areas of their districts. Go to the parent-teacher association meetings, he said. “It’s like water running uphill. A Republican at a PTA meeting? I mean come on,” Mr. Ose joked to laughter from the group. “I went to the Latino Business Council,” one candidate volunteered. Another said she visits housing projects. “Just go where they least expect you. That’s like 95% of the battle. Just show up,” Mr. Ose said.
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- John Q. Public
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Only problem is that suburban women are smart enough to know that the GOP doesn't actually support any of those things.The candidates studied a PowerPoint presentation by Ms. Chamberlain that listed GOP-supported legislation addressing issues that test well with suburban women, from parental leave and coverage for pre-existing conditions to newborn health screenings and tighter background checks for gun buyers.
John Q. Public
What does "GOP supported" mean?
"How stupid is our country?"