GOP strategist: Suburban women may be willing to vote for Biden over Trump

GOP strategist and CEO Sarah Chamberlain said Tuesday that suburban women might be willing to vote for former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Moulton says Biden would make 'fantastic president' MORE over President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE in the 2020 election.

Chamberlain, the head of the Women2Women Conversations Tour, cited focus groups the nonprofit has held with women across the country, including Democrats and Republicans.

“The women we're talking to — they like Joe Biden,” Chamberlain told Hill.TV during an interview on “Rising.”

“If it’s Biden on the ticket, they may be willing to switch,” she added.

Chamberlain said her nonprofit, which seeks to engage women across the country and gauge their common concerns and goals, has conducted five focus groups so far this year, consisting of both Republican and Democratic voters, with eight more to go.

Suburban women played a key role in helping Democrats take back the House in last year’s midterm elections. That includes congressional districts in battleground states like Pennsylvania, where Republicans held a majority before the elections.

But Chamberlain maintained that despite the 2018 midterm's rebuke of Trump, many suburban women still favor the incumbent president, particularly his health care policies.

“They’re happy with what he’s done so far, and they’re scared what the Democrats – talking about 'Medicare for All,'” she told Hill.TV.

Health care has been a major topic in the Democratic presidential primary, with Biden and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Keystone XL Pipeline gets nod from Nebraska Supreme Court MORE (I-Vt.) trading barbs in recent days on their respective approaches.

While Biden has proposed expanding the Affordable Care Act and offering a government-run “public option,” Sanders has been a proponent of Medicare for All, which would advocate replacing the private insurance system with a government-run health care program.

“At the end of the day, you’ve either got to be on the side of the people or the side of the health insurance companies. I know which side I’m on,” Sanders tweeted last week, directly referencing Biden in an attached video.

A few days later, one of Sanders’s top aides accused Biden of lying about Sanders’s proposal after the vice president contrasted Sanders’s plan with his own during an AARP conference in Iowa. Biden emphasized his plan would allow those with employer-based insurance to keep it.

“Matter-of-fact, he gave a speech to the AARP — just flat out lied — trying to scare elderly folks, and I really did not think that the vice president would go to that length," Nina Turner, a co-chairwoman of Sanders’s campaign, told Hill.TV.

Biden has cast doubt on the effectiveness of Sanders’s plan, saying it could lead to a lapse in coverage for millions and that “starting over makes no sense to me at all.”

His campaign's critique of Sanders’s plan centers around concerns over enacting a plan that would effectively kill ObamaCare, with Biden deputy campaign manager and communications director Kate Bedingfield emphasizing in a Medium post that Democrats should instead be uniting to protect Obama-era health care law.

“Joe Biden has been very clear: he will not support any policy that means getting rid of Obamacare. He will oppose Republican efforts; he will oppose Democratic efforts,” Bedingfield wrote.

—Tess Bonn