Married Suburban Women Could Be Pivotal In The Battle For Congress — But For Which Side?

By Chuck Raasch and Kevin McDermott
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Many political analysts and candidates say the suburbs will be on the front lines of this year’s battle for control of Congress with married suburban women in particular determining the outcome.

BALLWIN, Mo.

At a McAlister’s Deli, tucked in one of the miles of strip malls that line Manchester Road among the shoulder-to-shoulder suburbs of west St. Louis County, Helen McCauley and her daughter Sara didn’t hesitate when asked recently about the coming political season.

“I don’t always vote the midterm elections, but this time I definitely will,” said Helen, whose politics lean left, with a focus on women’s issues.

“I don’t like the way the last elections turned out,” she said, as Sara, 18 and eager to vote for the first time, nodded. “A lot of women who don’t necessarily vote every election are more energized to vote this time.”

In a nearby Lion’s Choice restaurant, sisters Jodie Green and Julie Siebert, eating with their klatch of giggling young children, expressed somewhat different views.

They’re frustrated with what they see as the heavy hand of political correctness in the schools and a lack of work ethic in society.

But most of their concerns are less ideological, more practical and based on issues in their own lives: education, suicide prevention, food safety.

“The stuff that’s really important isn’t really being addressed,” said Green, who didn’t express the enthusiasm for November that the McCauleys did. When pressed, she blames both parties. “Instead of trying to bring people together, they’re separating people further.”

Suburbs like Ballwin will be on the front lines of this year’s battle for control of Congress, political analysts and candidates themselves say, with married suburban women in particular determining the outcome.

They are always a complicated bloc, driven less by partisan anger than practical concerns, and less likely than their urban or rural or male counterparts to predictably line up in one political camp or another.

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