Will Women Vote For Hillary?
One piece of conventional political wisdom about a Hillary candidacy is that she cannot win a national election because women voters will not support her in enough numbers to offset the men who will vote against her automatically. Maybe this piece of CW is no longer operative. Hillary’s support among women has gone up in the last twelve months, and especially amongst younger and older women.
After some rocky moments with female voters over the past 15 years, Clinton begins her historic race viewed favorably by 59 percent of women nationally, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll completed Friday night. She is viewed favorably among women of all age groups and educational backgrounds, and has especially large advantages among core pockets of Democratic women, including non-whites and lower-income women, and among Northeasterners.
In the Post survey, Clinton made her most significant strides in the past 10 months among women 55 and older, 59 percent of whom have a favorable view of her, compared with 48 percent last year.
But surely she cannot win nationally, right? Not so fast.
In primary and general election matchups as of today, Clinton has sizable advantages among women, the survey showed. Forty-nine percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning women would support her in their state's caucus or primary if it were held today, compared with 18 percent who would support Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.). And against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) or former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R), she has a big lead among women.
I am surprised to see her support so high against the two leading GOP candidates, and am also surprised to see how well she does amongst Democratic women against Obama. In fact, in the Post poll, Hillary runs away from the Democratic field, even after the media blitz over the last month or so for Obama. It makes me wonder if her conscious effort to position and brand herself as a moderate and more hawkish is paying dividends.