Karen White

Karen White, political director of Emily's List, an interest group dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to public office, was Tuesday's guest. She discussed the group's new survey focusing on women swing voters. Here are excerpts:

On the mood among swing voters - those who don't regularly vote for one party:

"Voters - especially women - are dissatisfied with the direction of the country. The big news here is that while nobody is happy, women are the most unhappy. Only 39 percent of swing women voters could think of one single positive thing to say about the direction of the country right now. I found that astounding."

On Democrats' prospects for landing swing voters:

"The men swing voters are already leaning heavily towards Bush. They are really more of an uphill battle for the Democratic ticket. Women [swing voters] are really really up for grabs, and it really needs to be a focus of the Kerry campaign."

On what women swing voters identify as key issues:

"The No. 1 issue for men is the economy. No. 1 for all women is Iraq. And the No. 1 issue for women swing voters is healthcare."

On the importance of abortion as an election issue:

"Clearly, Emily's List supports only pro-choice Democratic women. But it is not an issue where a woman wakes up every morning and says, 'I am going to look up what my candidate thinks on abortion.' Now, while it may be an important issue, and she may have a very strong opinion about it, [it] is not what is driving her to vote. "

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