Republicans are convinced that the road to a takeover of the House is lined with white picket fences. Suburbia is the key to the 2010 elections, strategists from both parties tell the Wall Street Journal. An influx of minorities and the college educated—both groups that lean left—has shaded many suburban areas blue in the past few elections, but Republicans think that unease over health care and the national debt could turn the tide.
Virginia's 11th, for example, used to be reliably Republican, but in the past election, Barack Obama took it by 21 points. Now, it's seen as a bellwether. “If Republicans can win back this seat, we will win back the House,” said the district's former Republican rep. Both parties agree it's essential to win over the lawn-mowing crowd; half the country now lives in suburbs, up from a third in 1980.