WATCH: Non-Republican Suburban Moms Reveal Why They Voted For Youngkin Over McAuliffe

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A group of non-Republican suburban moms told CNN during a segment that aired on Saturday night why they voted for Republican Glenn Youngkin instead of Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe in last week’s elections in Virginia.

The segment comes after Republicans won all the statewide elections in the state — governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, and reclaimed control of the House of Delegates.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Well, they were a key to Donald Trump’s victory and four years later his defeat, suburban white women who send another message this past week in Virginia helping to elect a Republican governor. Glenn Youngkin won 53 percent of suburban voters to Terry McAuliffe’s 47 percent.

That number is flipped from November 2020 when Biden carried suburban voters in the state by eight points. I sat down with moms in suburban Virginia to ask what made the difference.

KAY GREENWELL, VIRGINIA VOTER: This is the first year in my life that I’ve ever put a yard sign out for a candidate and I did this year. I’ve never done that before. Never in a million years.

BROWN: So how many of you voted for Biden in the general election, raise your hand.

BROWN (voice over): But now all four suburban Virginia moms, a Democrat, two independents and one unaffiliated say they voted for Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, in Tuesday night won that seat in Virginia.

BROWN (off camera): Do you think suburban moms like you basically put Youngkin into office?

SHAWNNA YASHAR, VIRGINIA VOTER: Yes, absolutely.

DANA JACKSON, VIRGINIA VOTER: One hundred percent.

BROWN (voice over): And there’s one key issue all four of these women say played a huge part in their choosing a Republican, feeling heard about their child’s education. They spend months fighting to get kids back into school and now they want more done to make up for learning loss from the pandemic.

GREENWELL: The school closures were really hard for a lot of kids and one of my kids in particular really suffered when schools were closed.

YASHAR: It affected my family dynamic. It affected my social circles. It affected every part of me that the kids couldn’t go to school. And so I had to figure out what can I do to make sure that that never happens again.

BROWN (off camera): And you feel like even right now not enough is being done to address the learning loss and you think that is a crisis.

JACKSON: Yes, absolutely. Yes, it’s part of the emergency.

YASHAR: We think our kids are in crisis. The learning loss is real. So we’re in a situation where our kids are really far behind and they need a lot of help. They need a lot of additional tutoring. They need a lot of additional time after school to help catch them up and they’re still not focusing on that.

It’s like a situation where you’re in front of your house and the driveway is really dirty, but the house is also on fire and you’re using the hose to hose off the driveway instead of putting out the fire on the house.

BROWN (off camera): How much did that factor a deal for you, the CRT debate and everything?

JACKSON: definitely the education, the learning loss was number one for me. Everything else was below that.

YASHAR: Mandates and CRT did not influence my decision at all.

JACKSON: Yes.

BROWN (off camera): How about for you, Sandra, Kay?

GREENWELL: No. Mine was all about the school closures.

BROWN (off camera): How did Terry McAuliffe handled the education part of everything?

GREENWELL: Well, parents were very angry during school closures at the teachers’ unions. And for me the nail in the coffin was on his last day of campaigning. He brought the head of the teachers’ union to his rally and she spoke and it was like someone just poked me right in the eye and said, you think you want to have a say in your education, well, you’re not going to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Glenn, he listened to us. He met with us. He sent his wife to meet with special education parents and they spent a lot one-on-one time with parents.

BROWN (off camera): Dana, do you think that’s why Glenn Youngkin won Virginia because he made education such a centerpiece of his campaign?

JACKSON: I do. We felt listened to for the first time or I did.

BROWN (off camera): If Terry McAuliffe had made it more of a centerpiece, made listening to parents, listening to their concerns, made that more of a centerpiece of his campaign, would you have maybe voted for him instead or were there other concerns you had?

GREENWELL: He seemed very sort of dismissive of the general voting public. JACKSON: Terry seemed to be campaigning everywhere but Virginia.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Shop for democracy, for Virginia.

BROWN (voice over): They say they were also off put by former President Obama when he came to Virginia to campaign for McAuliffe and called education issues ‘phony trumped up culture wars’.

BROWN (off camera): Offensive in what way?

JACKSON: I just feel like they’re really tone-deaf. They’re really dismissive and kind of blanket statement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It reminded us of the school boards.

YASHAR: They weren’t looking at the concerns on the ground. The concerns on the ground where we were really concerned about our kids’ education and the Democrats were not listening to that.

BROWN (off camera): And what about like in Washington with the Democrats’ agenda, and the back and forth, the two bills not being passed, did that have any sway at all on you.

JACKSON: No.

YASHAR: Nope.

BROWN (voice over): Another problem in their view, the Trump factor.

YASHAR: We wanted to move on from the Trump administration.

JACKSON: I felt like it was really tone-deaf to just discount parents and the whole educational struggle and to make it about Trump all of the time. I mean, there’s a place for that but he never really talked about what he was going to do to improve things. He just talked about how bad everyone else was and that was a real turnoff, especially, leaving our kids in the dust.

BROWN (voice over): But they admit, had Trump stumped in Virginia for Youngkin, that would have been a problem.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I told if you bring Donald Trump in Virginia, I’m not helping you.

BROWN (voice over): And they say they believe the way once Biden- supporting suburban moms helped propel Republican Glenn Youngkin into an unlikely victory in Virginia could happen again across the country for the 2022 midterms that parents continue to feel ignored about their kids’ education.

BROWN (off camera): What do you think the message is to Democrats from the election results in Virginia?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You’re going to keep losing if you don’t pay attention to parents.

YASHAR: They neglected us, they neglected our kids and they ignored the parents.

BROWN (off camera): And so they’re going to have to re-earn your trust?

YASHAR: Absolutely.

BROWN (off camera): And that’s going to take awhile.

YASHAR: It’s going to take a long time.

JACKSON: It’s just going to take a long while.

BROWN: And CNN has obtained a copy of an analysis by the McAuliffe campaign of their loss on Tuesday. It found that education was not a decisive issue in the governor’s race, but it was an important weakness that the McAuliffe campaign suffered from day one and never improved on it.

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