Friday, August 22, 2008

From 18 to 80: What Do Women Want?

Howdy, Politicas! First off, thanks for your patience while I get Californialized and all that jazz. Now that my life is beginning to resemble a sliver of normalcy, I am back to putting on my blogger-in-Chief hat…

A national study released by EMILY’s List, surveyed 1,400 women voters in four distinct generational groups: Generation Y, X, Boomers and Seniors.

So how do women of different generations view the presidential candidates, politics, and life in general? Here’s the basic 411: After Generation Y women, Senior women are Senator Obama’s next strongest generation. Obama leads Senator McCain by 30 points among Gen Y, 11 points among Seniors, 8 points among Gen X and 6 points among Boomers.

It appears that Obama’s greatest room for growth is among Senior women. They give him an 11 point advantage over McCain, but give a generic congressional Democrat a 27 point lead over the Republican. The 16 point gap between presidential performance and generic Democratic performance is larger than in other generations and offers Obama an opportunity to grow this margin.

Keep Hope Alive?
The most dramatic divide in the presidential race is between women who are looking for a candidate who offers hope and optimism (supporting Obama by a 60 point margin) and those who are looking for a candidate who offers safety and security (supporting McCain by a 35 point margin). The women's electorate divides exactly evenly among those who are looking for hope and optimism (38 percent) and safety and security (38 percent).

All Politics is Loca(l)?
According to the study, the majority of all generations of women say the outcome of the presidential race will make a lot of difference in their own lives (61 percent of all women). That number drops to 36 percent who think congressional elections will significantly affect their lives.

Politically Engaged and Underage?
50% of both Boomers and Seniors say they actively seek out news about politics. Just 28 percent of Gen X and 26 percent of Gen Y are actively seeking news, with large majorities in the younger generations saying they are interested in politics, but not actively seeking information.
29% of all women have made a political contribution in the past two years to a candidate, a party, or a political cause group. Giving is greatest among Seniors (41 percent) and most uncommon among Gen Y (13 percent). 42% of women who identify themselves as strong Democrats have contributed, compared with 33% of strong Republicans.

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