BROOKHAVEN, Ga. — Republicans face a reckoning in the red-state suburbs that have long been a bedrock for the party, propelled by the stormy confluence of President Trump’s searing racial attacks, economic turbulence and frustration with government inaction after last weekend’s deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.
The GOP lost its House majority in 2018 after it fared poorly with suburban voters, particularly women. Party leaders are increasingly alarmed that they have made little progress winning them back. Instead, Trump’s incessant feuds, his hard-line position on immigration — including federal raids that left children without their parents — and the stock market’s tumult amid his trade standoff with China threaten to further alienate suburban voters ahead of the 2020 campaign, even in states that have traditionally elected Republicans.
Republican leaders also worry that Trump’s dramatic policy moves and Twitter outbursts — such as last month’s racist remarks about four minority women in Congress — could prod more suburban GOP lawmakers to head for the exits rather than mount a defense, following in the footsteps of several Texas Republicans and others who have decided not to seek reelection.