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September 08, 2006

War Turns Southern Women Away from GOP

The AP is reporting on an AP/Ipsos poll that indicates that 3 out of 5 Southern women are planning on voting for a Democrat in the mid-term elections because they are angry over the war in Iraq and the country's direction.  Welcome!   

This is wonderful news in many ways.  Southern women have long been the hold-out on the gender gap, supporting President Bush and the Republicans before him.  Bush's second term came partially as a result of the 54% support he received from Southern female voters as against the national average of 48% from all white women.  White Southern women liked Bush because "he spoke their religion and he spoke their values," according to this AP article by Shannon McCaffrey.  Here's an example of their sentiment about Bush now:

"I think history will show him to be the worst president since Ulysses S. Grant," said Barbara Knight, a self-described Republican since birth and the mother of three. "He's been an embarrassment."

And here's how it translates into trouble for the Republicans as women describe how they will vote in a Georgia State Congressional race currently held by a Democrat but redrawn by the Georgia Legislature to be more conservative. 

Voters like Knight could prove to be spoilers. The 66-year-old real estate agent doesn't particularly like Marshall, a hawkish Democrat and former Army Ranger, but she said she'll vote for him because she likes his conservative Republican opponent, former Rep. Mac Collins, even less.

"I'm going to go for the moderate, and these days that tends to be Democrats," Knight said.

Sandy Rubin, a high school teacher in Macon, voted for Bush and said she's also likely to vote for Marshall. Rubin said the GOP's focus on issues that appeal to social conservatives, such as gay marriage and abortion, have turned her off.

"I care about job security and education. The things I hear the Republicans emphasizing in their campaigns are not things that affect me or my family," said the 39-year-old mother of two.

If this trend holds, it will bring Southern women more in line with women nationally, a very good thing for Democrats:

Nationally, the AP-Ipsos poll found that only 28 percent of women approve of Bush's handling of the war. Bush did better in the South, but only slightly — just 32 percent of women in the region said they approve of his handling of the war.

In addition, the three Senate seats that could hold the answer to whether or not the Senate goes Democratic, are all border states: Virginia, Missouri, and Tennessee.  At this point, the Republicans, Allen, Talent and Corker, are all ahead of their Democratic opponents, Webb, McCaskill, and Ford, by about 2 points, according to a post by Chris Bowers at MyDD today.  If Southern women continue to move toward the Democrats, holding their noses or not, we could be in pretty good shape in November. 

Posted by Lynn Allen on September 8, 2006 at 01:35 PM in Inside Baseball, National and International Politics | Permalink


It has been said that the Viet Nam War ended when the mothers finally turned against it. Perhaps this post foresees the end of the Iraq Occupation and takes down GWB as collateral damage. Sometimes irony trumps real life. How sweet it is, even as a Sweet Dream for now! jack

Posted by: Jack Smith | Sep 8, 2006 9:15:44 PM

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