A CNN reporter interviewed four Virginia suburban moms who voted for Glenn Youngkin last week. Three of the four voted for Joe Biden last year. It is unclear whether the fourth voted for Trump. However, he said that this year, for the first time ever, he put a sign in the garden in favor of one candidate: Youngkin.
Statements from four CNN-handpicked women do not necessarily reflect the views of suburban Virginia mothers. However, a reader with a good grasp on what Northern Virginia parents have to say tells me that the CNN clip accurately portrays the views of many suburban parents she knows who supported Biden in 2020 but voted for Youngkin in. 2021.
Consequently, I believe it is worth considering what the four had to say.
All four women said their vote was driven by the question of education. More specifically, it was driven by lengthy school closures and the perception that Democrats weren’t listening to parents worried about closures and, just as importantly, the need to bridge the resulting learning gap now that schools are open.
CRT was not a factor in how they voted, at least not directly. However, the treatment of parents who have raised curriculum concerns may be related to the idea that Democrats don’t care what parents think.
The four parents rejected the notion that Congressional inaction over the two big spending bills played a role in their decision to vote for Youngkin. This tends to confirm what we have said from the beginning on the Power Line issue.
The parents cited three irritants that influenced their thinking about race, two of them related to the problem of education. They were more than annoyed when Terry McAuliffe brought Randi Weingarten to the end of the campaign. Parents blame the Weingarten union for the prolonged closure of schools.
Parents also resented Barack Obama’s claim that “we don’t have time” for the kind of problems Youngkin was raising. This statement reinforced parents’ view that Democrats have no interest in their concerns.
Finally, McAuliffe’s constant attempts to tie Youngkin to Donald Trump were daunting. The four parents are of no use to Trump, but they want to get over it and focus on their political concerns. They saw Trump’s invocations of McAuliffe as an attempt to distract voters.
On some level, the thoughts of these parents provide some comfort to the Democrats. School closures will in all likelihood recede as a problem. Democrats can nominate candidates who will listen to, or pretend to listen, parents. They can make sure Randi Weingarten doesn’t campaign for them. And so on.
However, if the comments of the four parents are representative, they show, at the very least, that the suburbs are up for grabs. The powerful anti-Trump backlash of 2020 does not portend a realignment.
Also, the fact that education seems key to suburban moms may give Republicans an edge in the future. School closures will likely cease to be a problem, but Democrats will not stop taking orders from teachers’ unions. As new education problems arise, and those like CRTs and toilets persist, Democrats seem more likely than Republicans to put themselves on the wrong side of parents because of (1) their innate leftist attitude and (2) their ties to the teachers’ unions and leftist activists.
The latest conclusion from the parents’ comments is that Trump remains poison with moms in the Virginia suburbs. Although all four thought Trump was irrelevant to the run for governor, their continued contempt for the man was obvious. Its irrelevance was due to the fact that it was not on the ballot.
Here is the CNN video: