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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Friday, October 26, 2012

While female voters generally tend to favor President Obama, that cannot be said of white women without college degrees, a subset known - in this race - as waitress moms

From The New York Times:

The quadrennial obsession with winning over female voters can sometimes lead to mythmaking. Pollsters now question the validity of soccer moms as a distinct voting bloc; the term came into vogue in the 1996 presidential election but vanished soon after, to be replaced by the equally dubious post-9/11 “security moms.”
      
Whether or not the term “waitress moms” endures, it defines a distinct demographic: blue-collar white women who did not attend college. And they are getting a lot of attention from both campaigns as the presidential race barrels toward its conclusion because even at this late date, pollsters say, many waitress moms have not settled on a candidate. They feel no loyalty to one party or the other, though they tend to side with Republicans.
 
While women in general have historically supported Democratic presidential candidates, working-class white women without college degrees are among their weakest links. Mr. Obama lost them to Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primaries in 2008, and to John McCain, the Republican, in the general election.
       
But Mr. Obama won women over all because black and Hispanic female voters turned out in greater numbers than usual and supported him overwhelmingly, as did white college-educated women. As he seeks to rebuild a winning coalition in battleground states like this one, analysts say, he needs to keep his losses among waitress moms to a minimum.
 
“Women are the volatile vote at the end, particularly independent, non-college-educated, married women,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster who has long specialized in women’s voting patterns. Important as these women are to both campaigns, they are only one slice of the much sliced and diced female electorate. Pollsters tend to find women more interesting than men because women are more likely to be swing voters, while men usually make up their minds early.
 
Pollsters have found differences among women in all kinds of ways that seem to correlate with their voting habits. Unmarried women, for example, tend to vote Democratic, they say, while married women tend to vote Republican.
      
The multiple differences among women have created a kind of kaleidoscopic inter-gender gap, from which catchy labels sometimes emerge. Apart from waitress moms, there are now “Walmart moms,” a group defined by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm — and adopted by the retail giant — as any woman who has shopped at a Walmart in the last 30 days. They differ from waitress moms in that many have college degrees and higher incomes.

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