Because that is where 2018's biggest battles will be fought:
In Illinois primary elections on Tuesday, the five counties that wrap around Chicago's Cook County saw Democrats cast almost five times as many ballots as they did four years ago, ahead of a midterm romp for the GOP. Republicans, meanwhile, saw their turnout drop by almost a quarter of what it was in 2014.
The national Republican money machine is focusing heavily on defending the suburbs. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee aligned with Speaker Paul Ryan, has opened field offices in 30 Republican-held districts, with plans eventually to spend more than $100 million in as many as three dozen.
If you look at the graph above, you will see Republicans took 64% of the suburban vote in North Carolina in 2016. They actually did better in the suburbs than rural areas, which should freak you out more than a little, frankly. Why? Because suburban voters have a (much) higher percentage of college graduates than their rural counterparts. And yet, they voted for a card-carrying idiot for President. We're seeing a big shift in suburban voting nationwide during these special elections, but we can't assume that will happen here, in the absence of a huge effort by Dems to retake *our* suburbs. The thing to keep in mind, and I don't want to come off as too elitist here: The higher education level of the suburbs also means having information presented to them in a tactful manner may generate more (and better) results than those efforts would elsewhere. They have the background to make the right decisions, but they need a little push to do so.
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