Has Blanche Lincoln lost the women's vote in Senate race?
Incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln faces a runoff in the Arkansas Democratic primary Tuesday. As a centrist, she has angered many Democrats, and women could be a key voting bloc.
(Page 2 of 2)
Without additional data it’s hard to tell which way female voters will vote, but women in Arkansas may be slightly more liberal than men, says Janine Parry, director of the Arkansas Poll at the University of Arkansas. So “those with higher levels of income and education may be receiving the cues of unions and [liberal advocacy group] MoveOn.org more favorably than men.”Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
in March, Lincoln fell out of favor with a strong female ally – EMILY's List, which supported her in 1998. Its chair, Ellen Malcom, wrote then that Lincoln had failed to protect women's reproductive freedom during the health-care debate.
Lincoln also has been hit hard by unions and progressive groups who resented her overtly centrist stance on key issues, especially health-care reform. On Memorial Day weekend, former President Bill Clinton appeared at a rally on Lincoln’s behalf. He strongly chastised unions, which had supported Lincoln and him in the past, for spending millions against her for her positions on some complicated issues like the Employee Free Choice Act.
Ultimately, voters’ sentiments may have less to do with gender or ideology and more to do with the anti-incumbent spirit sweeping both parties.
“Back in the fall, Lincoln was having more trouble with men than with women,” says Ms. Parry. “The poisonous national political climate, and a primary challenger fueled by outside money, may have altered things.”
- Tuesday primaries: Year of the Republican woman dawning?
- Arkansas primary a crucible for Blanche Lincoln, centrist politics
- A primary fight for Sen. Blanche Lincoln: Good for Republicans?