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Suburban women are shaping up to be a prominent group this election cycle following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson ruling.
Abortion has emerged as a top issue among voters with a new Fox News poll showing 20% of women say it’s the top issue that will motivate them to vote this election cycle. Democrats hope the stimulus will push their voters to the polls in the midterms because they are on defense.
In states like North Carolina, where Democrat Cheri Beasley holds an open state Senate seat, Republican Rep. Ted will face Budd, analysts say women will be a key vote. According to the latest voter registration numbers, the Tar Heel state has about 550,000 more women registered voters than men.
“They are a focus and a major hope for Democrats in this election, especially because of Dobbs’ overturning of Roe v. Wade,” said Duke University public policy professor Mac McCorkle. “Typically, the problem for the party in power — and it’s probably still a problem for the Democrats — is that their side isn’t motivated enough. The other side is mad because they lost the last election. They want payback. ruling party. So I think the Republican fervor, especially of Republican women, was probably already there.”
Jennifer Rubin, vice president of the League of Women Voters North Carolina, said she feels the abortion issue has motivated all women to get out and vote.
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“North Carolina is a majority women’s state,” he said. “We have more women than men in North Carolina. 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, women in North Carolina who spoke to Fox News said the cost of life is a critical issue in this cycle. North Carolina’s housing market has skyrocketed over the past year, with all 10 of the state’s largest cities seeing rent increases, according to data from Apartment List. In Wilmington, the city has seen rents increase by more than 17% since last year. The state as a whole has seen an increase of just over 14%.
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Many in the state said those who moved up from the north during the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with the overall cost of living, have made their cities almost unaffordable.
“I just had to move, and the rent was crazy. Absolutely crazy,” said Kenzie Oldham, an independent voter in Wilmington. When asked what she wants to see from those running, she said she wants them to address costs. “I want them to work on making things cheaper. Or at least — if not making things cheaper — raise wages to match inflation.”
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One Republican voter said grocery prices had become unsustainable. Chelsea Cooley, a mother of six, said the $500 grocery bill lasted her family for about three weeks. Now, she said that’s her weekly bill.
“The gallon of milk is four times what it used to be,” said Cooley, who volunteers with the state Republican Party. “I think we’re all at that point where we can’t afford to keep living the way we’re living.”
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Cooley also said parental rights are a top-of-mind 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 parents, whether they’re Democrats, Republicans or independents, that the way they raise their kids isn’t overweight, that’s when you have a problem,” she said. .
The North Carolina Senate race is critical for Republicans trying to retain the seat as part of their larger effort to regain the majority. Budd is set to welcome former President Trump to a rally on Friday, which analysts say will likely bring together voters on all sides.
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“It will help motivate the Trump base in the Republican Party. It will help motivate the Democratic base against Trump,” McCorkle said. “Freedom is impenetrable.”
North Carolina voters who already know their choice for the Senate race can start casting their ballots now. Early voting for mail-in voting began on September 9.