... of the female voters shift. Jeffrey Bell and Frank Cannon, of the Weekly Standard, say so much for "security moms." These women are "values voters," a fast-growing demographic going into the Republican column.
Interestingly, voters who select social issues as their prime mover are disproportionately female, both nationally and in the swing states. This seems to account for Bush's increased strength (for a Republican) among female voters. Terrorism-centered voters, the other issue group favoring Bush, tilt toward the male side. So much for "security moms" as an explanation for Kerry's unexpected weakness among women.
And sadly for Dems, it's not just women:
The proportion of voters who say they are keying their vote on "moral values issues like gay marriage and abortion" has gone up sharply--to a level of 15 to 18 percent, according to five national polls commissioned by Time and conducted by Schulman, Ronca, and Bucuvalas since July. More important, the profile of such voters is no longer definable in the vocabulary of polarization and divisiveness. The most recent Time poll (taken September 21-23) has George W. Bush winning socially driven voters by a lopsided 70 to 18 percent.
Bell and Cannon attribute the shift to the rise of the partial-birth abortion and same-sex marriage debates in the last four years. Partial-birth abortion has made Democrats less likely to trumpet abortion rights, and the big victory for a marriage protection in Missouri earlier this year convinced Kerry to pull ad dollars from that state.