Why the Virginia election is freaking Democrats out

Compounding concerns are findings from a series of focus groups conducted this year by the Democratic firm Lake Research Partners, targeting Democrats considered less likely to turn out at the polls. It found a couple of reasons that some Virginia women are uninspired by the political scene. Among Black women, there is frustration that Democrats won’t deliver for them, and so it doesn’t much matter which party’s candidates win, explains Joshua Ulibarri, who heads the firm’s Virginia research. Among younger women, especially Latinas and white women, there is a sense that the Trump danger has passed and that they can let their guard down. “They think we have slayed the giant,” says Mr. Ulibarri. “They think Republicans are more sane and centered now.”

Oof. Who’s going to break it to them?

The challenge extends beyond Virginia. Almost half of women in four crucial swing states — Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — are paying less attention to politics since Mr. Trump left office, according to a May survey by American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic super PAC. This includes 46 percent of Biden voters — particularly those who are younger, are college educated or are urban dwellers. Focus groups that the firm conducted in August yielded similar findings.

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