Janet's Conner

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Politics: REPUBLICANS LOSING "SECURITY MOMS"

Married mothers leaning more toward Dems, polls show

MSNBC dot com
By: Jim VandeHei/The Washington Post
August 17, 2006

Clintonville, Ohio---Married women with children, the "security moms" whose concerns about terrorism made them an essential part of Republican victories in 2002 and 2004, are taking flight from GOP politicians this year in ways that appear to provide a major boost for Democrats in the midterm elections, according to polls and interviews.

This critical group of swing voters---who are an especially significant factor in many of the most competitive suburban districts on which control of Congress will hinge---is more inclined to vote Democratic than at any point since September 11, 2001, according to date complied for The Washington Post by the Pew Research Center.

Married mothers said that in interviews here that they remained concerned about national security and the ability of Democrats to keep them safe from terrorist strikes. But surveys indicate Republicans are not benefitting from this phenomenon as they have before.

***I think people only feel this way about Democrats because the Republicans have rammed this down the American public's throats for the past five years. Why would the Democrats not try to keep this country safe? Do you really think that they want to get hurt too? It's insane to think that they wouldn't do everything in their power to keep us safe! People are tired of hearing this from the Republicans. They are coming to the conclusion that, the Republicans have lied about everything, so, why not this! I think we would rather just take our chances.

Disaffection with President Bush, the Iraq war, and other concerns such as rising gasoline prices and economic anxiety are proving more powerful in shaping voter attitudes.

***When Bush was up for reelection, supposedly he was all over OPEC about the gas prices. I haven't heard about him doing anything this time around. Instead, he goes and gives Public Aid to the oil companies who are making record profits! That goes to show you that Bush and the Republicans aren't worried about "the people." They worry about what the upper 1% thinks.

The study, which examined the views of married women with children from April through this week, found that married mothers support Democrats for Congress by a 12-point margin, 50% to 38%. That is nearly a mirror-image reversal from a similar period in 2002, when this group backed Republicans 54% to 36%. In 2004, exit polls showed, Bush won a second term in part because 56% of married women with children supported him.

Here in suburban Columbus, one of the most important areas in the 2004 campaign, the diffusion of this support is obvious in interviews, and the political implications are unmistakable.

Jean Thomas, a married mother of one, said she still feels a pang of fear every time she boards an airplane for work travel around the Midwest. "Terrorism," she said, "is the biggest concern on a daily basis."

Then she mustn't feel that the Bush administration is keeping her safe.

But she said she is "pretty frustrated with politics driving decisions" in Washington. That is why she said she is strongly considering abandoning her support of Republicans to vote for the Democrats challenging Rep. Deborah Pryce and Sen. Mike DeWine on Nov. 7. Polls show that both Republican incumbents from Ohio are actually vulnerable.

***The Bush administration and the Republicans in Congress are "too partisan." Take J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Speaker of the House of Representatives: He won't allow any Democratic legislation to come to the floor of the House, even if it is good legislation, unless there is a majority of the majority, which is Republican, that approve of it. Then, if they like it, they will take the Democratic legislation behind closed doors, "rewrite it," take the name of the Democrat that proposed it and replace it with a Republican name as if "they" wrote it up in the first place. Now, what kind of sh-t is that? That's Dennis Hastert for you. A snake all the way around! I hope the people in his district make a decision to take him out of office. He makes gains from his inside info that he gets in Washington anyway, besides many other things.

Significantly, Pew and other polls in recent days have found little or no advantage for Republicans in the aftermath of last week's foiled terrorist plot in London, even as Vice President Cheney and GOP leaders have warned that the event showed the risk of voting for a Democratic Party that they say is dominated by security doves.

***Why blame the Democrats? This is happening on Bush's watch, not theirs! The last time I looked, Bush was a Republican. And by the way....when the voters hear anything from Cheney, they tend to think that the truth is axactly the opposite of what he is saying....so hopefully Cheney keeps coming out!

Andrew Kohut, who directs the PEW poll, said the "negative impact of Iraq is hurting not only Bush but also the Republican Party as well." No longer, Kohut said, is "terrorism alone enough to keep" married women and other voters in the GOP fold.

***And the Republicans have also proven, by far, that they are "not" the moral majority! Using the church isn't going to help them anymore. They blew it with all of their corruption and it seems that some of their christian right leaders are very corrupt too!

Yet the shift is not attributable to Iraq alone. Elizabeth Moore, a married mother of one, said she is frustrated by the war but sees no better alternative. "I am one of those who, when a bully slaps you in the face, you slap them back," she said.


"To much time in Washington"

Still, the self-described moderate Republican and Bush supporter said the military operation has distracted GOP lawmakers such as Pryce from equally important issues back home. "Too much time in Washington," Moore scoffed, explaining why she is likely to vote for Pryce's Democratic opponent this time. She voted for Pryce in 2004.

All of this suggests that the latest campaign by the GOP to portray Democrats as wobbly on security will be harder to sell in today's climate. Republicans have tried to replicate past success in the wake of the London arrests and Iraq war opponent Ned Lamont's victory over Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic primary. Bush and GOP strategists calculated that both events would fan fears about national security and create a headwind for Democrats.

Honestly.....Nobody believes the Republicans anymore about these terrorist attacks. ESPECIALLY, when they come out of London!

The GOP message still resonates with some voters. Dolores Guerra-Sox, a married mother in Sterling Heights, Mich., said she will stick with Republicans in the congressional races. "We need somebody who is not going to make us take more steps back" as she thinks Clinton did in the 1990s, she said. "My interest is what happened to us on 9/11."

***First off, I don't see President Clinton running for office. Secondly....how soon we forget. Who was the majority in the Senate in Clinton's last 4 years? Wasn't it the Republicans? As for keeping us back...Republicans won't move past 9/11/2001. Talk about being stuck in the past!

But Pew---in findings that echo three other polls released publicly this week---found Bush and Republicans benfitting little, if at all, from Lieberman's defeat and the scare in Britain. There was a slight uptick in support for Bush's handling of terrorism, but voters remain broadly unhappy with the performance of Bush and the GOP Congress.

In its latest poll of the general public, conducted after the news of London broke, Pew found a majority voicing concerns that Democrats were too weak on terrorism, the precise charge Republicans have made over the past 10 days. Yet an even larger majority said they fear Republicans would involve the United States in too many military operations.

***If you hear something long enough, you're going to start believing it. As for military concerns, the public is right. Cheney wants a "perpetual war." Why do you think Halliburton is building 14 permanent bases in Iraq? Because that is where headquarters will be for all of our military operation in the Middle East that Cheney wants to get into!

The result is a public that is essentially split over which party can best defeat terrorists. Washington Post-ABC News surveys found the Republicans held a 30-point average on the issue of terrorism in 2002-2004. But in the last two years, the GOP advantage has evaporated.

***We don't have any terrorist attack worries until before another election. The American people aren't as dumb as the Republicans would like to think they are. They can put two and two together and come out with='s Republicans fear tactics.

Moreover, terrorism does not have the salience as a political issue it did 2 years ago. In the latest Pew survey, only 2% of respondents cited it as the top issue they want to hear candidates discuss---and that was after the news from London. Voters are less moved by sudden scares like that episode than they might have been 2 years agao, Kohut said.

***Now what are the Republicans going to talk about? They chose terrorism because they have nothing else to go on.

"While we probably could not have gone toe to toe with Republicans in the immediate wake of 9/11, and maybe not even in the opening days of the war and the ramp-up to the war, the situation hs changed so dramatically that Democrats in fact are in a position now to give better than they get on national security," said Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, who had advised congressional Democrats on the 2006 strategy. Democrats "have to steel their spine to do this because they tend to react every time somebody says 'cut and run,' he added.

David Winston, a Republican pollster who advises GOP leaders on election strategy, said married women in particular are often spooked more by the uncertainty of Iraq than the threat of terror. "They are increasingly unwilling to sustain the sort of sacrifices that we have to make over there," even though many support the mission, Winston said.

This would get no argument from Pryce, the No. 4 GOP leader in the House. She said this is "hands down" the toughest reelection fight of her 14-year career, after winning with 62% of the vote in 2004. This is Republican territory, she said, but it is a tough time to be a Republican in this part of the state this year.

Outgoing Gov. Bob Taft (R) has pleaded no contest to ethics violation. Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican running to succeed Taft, is way behind in the polls. Several GOP candidates said Blackwell is almost certain to lose to Democrat Ted Strickland this fall. Unemployment is low by historical standards, but, as in much of the Industrial Midwest, voters are anxious about declining manufacturing sector and stagnating wages.

***Those who worry are not from the upper 1%. Bush outsourced everything in hopes that our young men and women couldn't find jobs so they might enlist in the military.

The cost of war has also been central to Republican troubles in Ohio. It was one year ago this month that 16 Marines from the same Ohio-based battalion were killed in Iraq, a devastating loss for the small town of Brook Park and the rest of the state. All told, 115 troops from Ohio have been killed in the war, the fifth-highest total in the country.

***None of our troops should "ever" be put into harm's way for political or economic gains for this country's leaders and that is exactly what happened!

"I feel the pot is being stirred here more than other places in the country," Pryce said. "But maybe that is because I am in the middle of the pot."

Against this backdrop, Democratic candidate Mary Jo Kilroy, a Vietnam-era war protester who became commissioner of Franklin County, is offering voters a clear alternative to Pryce, who remains a supporter of the war.

Kilroy, whose Web site features a running tab of war costs and a video linking Pryce to Bush's "stay the course" policies, said she would not have voted for the Iraq invasion if she had been in Congress. "Certainly the war in Iraq is a major issue these days," she said, sitting her her new campaign headquarters Wednesday.

Kilroy accused Pryce of being "asleep at the switch" in terms of scrutinizing the war and protecting the United States. "We should not have to be scrambling to come up with a protocol" for preventing people from making liquid bombs on airplanes, Kilroy said. "These are not new problems."

***No, these are "not" new problems! And yet, Bush was trying to take money away from Homeland Security's research department. And he was "quietly" trying to do it. What does that tell you?


Totally disgusted with this war"

Jo Ann Smith, a divorced mother in Upper Arlington, said she voted for Pryce last time but certainly will not this fall because of the war issue alone. "I am just totally disgusted with this war," Smith said. "I understand terrorism and the threat, but I am sick of hearing about it." Smith said she will vote for Democrats across the board, mostly because she considers Republicans the "worst of two evils."

In the Senate race, Sherrod Brown, a longtime Democratic congressman and champion of liberal policies, is running his own version of an antiwar campaign. He voted against the war resolution and the USA Patriot Act, which provided the government new terrorist surveillance tools and authority, at a time when the conventional wisdom in Washington held that both votes were politically disastrous moves.

"I voted against the war in Iraq while Mike DeWine slept through the intelligence hearings, asked no real questions about weapons of mass destruction, asked no questions about a plan to win or a plan for reconstruction," Brown said. "If this election comes down to terrorism and war, I still win." If elected to the Senate, Brown said, he will demand the military come up with a plan to have all U.S. troops out in no more than 2 years.

DeWine has embraced the White House strategy of using terrorism as a wedge, condemning his opponent as a soft-on-security liberal. But his most aggressive attack backfired. A campaign ad that accused Brown of "weakening national security" was found to include a doctored image of the burning World Trade Center Towers after Sept. 1. DeWine had to change the campaign.

***I'm not surprised! The Republicans doctored up the evidence that took us to Iraq, didn't they?

He said "Iraq is a grave issue" that is complicating the reelection campaign. But he aded that when Ohioans learn about Brown's vote against terrorism-fighting tools and a funding increase for the intelligence program, the race will shift his way. "Time will tell how people sort this out," he said.

***I didn't hear DeWine mention how Bush was "quietly" trying to divert funds from Homeland Security, did you? I also didn't hear him mention that over $200M was taken away from the research Department of Homeland Security because they weren't using the money to do any research that would improve our security!

Maylee McCallister, a mother of three who was a Republican for 42 years until this April, already has. She voted for Bush because she believed his warnings that the Democratic nominee, Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), would weaken the nation.

"I was dumb," she said. "Now, granted, they came here and rammed bombs into us, but I am afraid we have gotten into something full scale which perhaps did not have to be."

***And it will only get worse if the Republicans are made the majority again in Congress. They already do whatever the White House wants them to do. They no longer work for their constituents. And Cheney wants "perpetual war," in the Middle East. If you are a mother, you had better believe that your children, even if they are around 10-years-old right now, will be "drafted." And it won't only be your boys anymore. It will also be your "little girls!"












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