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Suburban women are emerging as a coveted group this election cycle in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision.
Abortion has emerged as a top issue among voters with a new Fox News poll showing 20% of women saying it’s the top issue that will motivate them to vote this election cycle. Democrats are hoping the motivation will push their voters to the polls midway through, as they are on the defense.
In states like North Carolina, where Democrat Cheri Beasley is set to face Republican Rep. Ted Budd in the state’s open Senate seat, analysts say women will be the key vote. According to the latest voter registration figures, Tar Heel State has about 550,000 more female voters than males.
“They are the center of interest and the main hope of the Democrats in this election, especially because of the repeal of the Dobbs decision of Roe v. Wade,” said Mac McCorkle, professor of public policy at Duke University. . “Usually the problem for the ruling party — and it’s probably still a problem for the Democrats — is that their side isn’t as motivated. The other side is angry because they’ve lost the last election. They want to refund incumbents. So I think the Republican enthusiasm, especially from Republican women, was probably already there.
Jennifer Rubin, vice president of the League of Women Voters North Carolina, said she believes the abortion issue has motivated all women to go to the polls and vote.
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“North Carolina is a majority female state,” she said. “We have more women in North Carolina than men. So I think some of these issues that are important to women can definitely have an impact because women are motivated to vote.”
In addition to abortion, North Carolina women who spoke to Fox News said the cost of living was a serious issue this cycle. North Carolina’s housing market boomed last year as the state’s 10 largest cities saw their rents rise, according to data from Apartment List. In Wilmington, the city has seen a rent increase of more than 17% since last year. The state as a whole saw an increase of just over 14%.
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Many people in the state said those who moved from the north during the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the overall cost of living, made their towns almost unaffordable.
“I just had to move out, and the rent was insane. Absolutely insane,” said Kenzie Oldham, an independent voter from Wilmington. When asked what she would like to see from those running, she said she would like them to address the costs. “I wish they were trying to make things cheaper. Or at least – if not making things cheaper – then raise wages to match inflation.”
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A Republican voter said the cost of groceries had become unsustainable. Chelsea Cooley, a mother of six, said $500 worth of groceries lasted her family for almost three weeks. Now she said that was her weekly bill.
“A gallon of milk is four times what it was,” said Cooley, who also volunteered with the state’s Republican Party. “I think we’re all at that point where we can’t afford to continue living the way we live.”
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Cooley also said parental rights were a priority issue for her this cycle after she became more involved in her children’s schooling during the height of the pandemic.
“When you start telling a parent, whether they’re Democrat, Republican or Independent, that their say in how they raise their children no longer carries the upper hand, you have a problem,” he said. she declared.
The North Carolina Senate race is important for Republicans trying to hold on to the seat as part of their broader effort to win back a majority. Budd is expected to host former President Trump for a rally on Friday, which analysts are likely to mobilize voters on all sides.
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“It’s going to help motivate Trump’s base in the Republican Party. It’s going to help motivate the Democratic base against Trump,” McCorkle said. “The independents are the imponderable.”
North Carolina voters who already know their picks for the Senate race can start voting now. Early voting began September 9 for mail-in voting.