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A new poll of women voters shows the economy as the No. 1 issue among the majority group that decided the last election, with health care and education the second and third major issues.
The poll, conducted jointly by Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of 1,003 women for Lifetime TV, looks at where women’s attitudes are focused at a time when Democrats are making a social issues-focused push for women voters.
From the poll:
– Women say the candidates’ positions on issues are most influential in deciding their vote for President, well ahead of other considerations like moral character, background and expertise, record in office, political party, and his spouse.
– Women are engaged political citizens, skeptical of politicians but not of the system. They would be supportive for young girls they know to pursue elective office, even as most admit they themselves would not do that, and only about half say politics is personally important to the way they identify themselves.
– Women say the most effective way to stay involved is by being an informed citizen and casting a vote. Non-registered women are more apt to say donating money or discussing issues and candidates among their own inner circle is best.
– Just 7% of women say they are likely to run for political office one day. Women largely attribute the lack of female candidates to a desire for women to focus instead on their work and family and a dominance of the field by men. Republican women are more likely to cite the former, Democratic women the latter.
– Women who say they are likely to vote in November currently support President Barack Obama over Governor Mitt Romney by a double-digit margin. Fewer than one in ten are undecided.
– Obama’s base of support includes black women (85%), Democratic women (85%), Latinas (70%), women in the Northeast (65%), women under 40 (63%), college grads (57%), unmarried women (59%).
– Governor Romney’s base includes Republicans (85%), White women (47%), women over 50 (45%) and married women (42%).
– Women give the President a passing grade on his performance in office, with half offering a “B” or a “C.” Roughly equal numbers allow top and bottom marks (17% “A”; 19% “F”). Among independent women, 9 percent give the President an “A”, 36% a B, and 19% a C. Nearly one-third (31%) give the President a low “D” or “F.”
– One-third of women say Hillary Clinton would have been a better President than Barack Obama. Half say she would have done about the same job as Obama.
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