Republicans fared badly in suburbs in 2018 races

Republicans fared badly in suburbs in 2018 races
November 19 16:54 2018 Print This Article

Republicans performed badly in suburban House districts in 2018, allowing Democrats to pick up 39 seats and capture the majority. Republicans lost South Carolina’s largely suburban 1st Congressional District for the first time in 40 years. Former National Republican Campaign Committee chairman Pete Sessions lost in his suburban Dallas district, and Republicans lost all of the Congressional seats in suburban Orange County, California. Republicans did manage to pick up two net Senate seats, holding a 53-47 majority in the next Congress.

Political consultant and analyst Andrew Boucher told the East Cooper Republican Club in Mt. Pleasant Monday that winning the suburbs will be the key to taking back South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District in 2020. Boucher, a partner in RightVoter LLC, consulted for Republican Katie Arrington’s unsuccessful campaign in 2018. He said the GOP needs to do a better job connecting with moderate and independent women to recapture the House. Boucher said, “The suburbs are a place where people often care more about what their neighbors think than they do about their own political views.” Boucher suggested a more neighborhood-based campaign strategy going forward, featuring house parties and a focus on local issues.

Boucher said that Democrat Joe Cunningham had a 3-to-1 edge in TV ads over Arrington, including a big ad buy in the Savannah TV market to reach voters in nearby Beaufort County, South Carolina. A large field of Republicans is expected to try to limit Cunningham to one term in 2020. They will attempt to connect with voters in the suburbs, many of whom are moderates and newcomers to the Lowcountry.