Bernie Sanders has some work to do in the suburbs

“People are going to say, do you want him or do you want a socialist?” she said of the prospect of Mr. Sanders as the nominee. It was “kind of scary” to see Mr. Trump congratulating Mr. Sanders on his primary wins, she said. “What does that tell you?”

In Hampton Roads — which includes Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Newport News — Democrats also picked up four Statehouse seats in November. One of those 2019 victors, Shelly Simonds, said suburban women “really generated the enthusiasm that created the blue wave.”

While some women, including many teachers, “are all about Sanders,” Ms. Simonds said, others recoil from his sweeping proposals such as a government takeover of health care. “There are a lot of women who are very protective over health care and the current status quo,” she said.

Suburban women are especially important in battleground states like Virginia, which is seen as essential to any Electoral College majority for the party in 2020. Virginia has turned sharply toward moderate Democratic candidates in recent years; the losses of Republican candidates up and down the ballot in suburbia have produced more political change than arguably any other state.