I know. We're being deluged by polls these last few days before the off-year elections. Plus, the White House is screaming "The Democrats have peaked" and the Democrats are countering: "NOT!"
All that notwithstanding, two last-minute releases came across my E-mail on various aspects of the women's vote. Both sides agree that in this election the women's vote will be pivotalin fact, that may be one of the few things on which both parties agree. EMILY's List, the pro-choice Democratic women's political action committee, says that in "some of the most important races in the country, the majority of undecided voters are women." This is apparently true of working mothers. EMILY's List goes on to define this group as women in two-income households, particularly suburban moms, whose demanding lives have left them little time to tune into the elections.
More important, these women are "non-college educated" and "most likely to make up their minds late and are not as responsive to television ads or partisan rancor … they are looking for the candidate who is right on the issues they care about." This means, keep an eye on which way these women vote at the last minute, as a trend indicator. White married women supported President Bush both times. A CNN exit poll in 2004 showed that 55 percent of white women voted to re-elect the president, as did 57 percent of married women and men.
Another poll by the New York-based, progressive National Council for Research on Women shows that almost 60 percent of female voters want U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq. Is this a return to the days of Lysistrata, or what? Maybe not quite, but it's a lot closer to women's traditional 10-to-20-point antiwar gender gap that existed pre-9/11. After 9/11, women polled about as pro-war as menan interesting historical blip.
The NCRW poll of 2,097 registered voters showed that Democratic women favor candidates who want to bring the troops home by more than 8 to 1 (78 percent to 9 percent). Independent women favor bring-the-troops-home candidates by 5 to 1 (60 percent to 12 percent). Republican women, conversely, prefer stay-the-course candidates (42 percent to 35 percent). The poll was conducted by Opinion Research Corp. with a 2-point margin of error.