Suburban Female Voters Are A Pivotal Group In A Key Virginia District

Nov 6, 2018
Originally published on November 6, 2018 11:25 am
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All morning long, we are listening to voters from across the country as they share their hopes and their fears about how today's election will go. In a moment, we'll hear from some young voters in Florida. First, we'll hear from one of the key voting groups in the battle for the House, suburban women. NPR's Barbara Sprunt went to the battleground suburbs of Northern Virginia.

BARBARA SPRUNT, BYLINE: It's the Fall Festival at Cox Farms. Families are hopping on hayrides. Kids are curiously peeking at farm animals. And they're snacking on fresh apple cider doughnuts.

TRACY COMPTON: That's Lucy. She just turned 7. And that curlicued girl over there is Morgan, and she's 4.

SPRUNT: Tracy Compton calls herself a longtime Republican. But she says having two young daughters has changed her mind.

COMPTON: I've worked for Republicans on their campaigns. And I just decided that it's time that I need to vote for my children. And based on that, I just had a change. I couldn't, in my heart, vote for Donald Trump. And I just can't, in my heart, not vote Democratic.

SPRUNT: When I ask if it's President Trump's persona or his policies that bother her, she's pretty clear.

COMPTON: It's all policy. Sure, it's persona. But is it worse that he locks poor kids up? Yes. That's the problem. And I just - all I could think of is my little girls and the terror that they would feel.

SPRUNT: Rebecca Skousen is also at the pumpkin patch with her kids, holding a fussy toddler and pushing a stroller. She's a third-grade teacher and undecided about who she'll vote for today. But she says she's tired of the negativity on both sides of the aisle and says she's not hopeful it will get better anytime soon.

REBECCA SKOUSEN: I feel like people aren't hearing each other out and listening to what the real issues are. I think it will stay this way for a while.

SPRUNT: Catherine Coley also says she's sad to see divisiveness from politicians but is happy about how many women are running for Congress.

CATHERINE COLEY: I keep saying, if anything good comes out of 2016, it's that when one woman didn't rise to the next level, everyone stood up and joined the fight.

SPRUNT: Today there are a record 235 women on the ballot for House seats.

Barbara Sprunt, NPR News, Centreville, Va. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.