Program Note: Watch Randi’s report on “what women want” tonight on 360° 10p ET
Hillary Clinton is selling buttons on her website that say “I’m your Girl!”
Over the weekend she held a town hall meeting with working moms.
Do you think she’s going after the women’s vote? Of course she is. So is Barack Obama.
It’s estimate 9 million more women than men will enter a voting booth this election so women could really end up determining our next president.
Right now, Obama is ahead in the polls, CNN shows, among women nationwide though Clinton has the edge with white women.
I just spent some time with a group of women in Indiana to try and understand what women want in a candidate. We had a good mix. Sally Zweig is a 56-year-old lawyer and single mom. Dawn Yingling is also a single mom who's son just had to drop out of college because she couldn't pay the bills. Stephanie Spirer is a 26-year-old lawyer who knows all about student debt. Nicole Schoville is a pilates instructor who is married. And Keshauna Castro is 30-year-old single pharmacy technician. Nicole was the only undecided voter. The rest were split between Obama and Clinton.
Turns out, women really differ from men in the kinds of issues we look at. As one political expert put it, “our feet are all facing the same direction, but we move at a different pace than the boys.”
What do women want? Ha! Men have been trying to figure that out for ages, but here’s what they want in a candidate. Not every woman, of course, but many women.
Women want proof positive their candidate is going to deliver. We like specifics and solutions, which is why women tend to wait much longer than men to pick a candidate.
Nicole Schoville, a pilates instructor in Indianapolis who works two jobs, is still undecided! Like many women, she worries about affordability and security. Those are the two common themes among women voters nationwide. Nicole works two jobs and she still can’t afford healthcare. She told me, “Do we stand a chance of losing our house because we can't afford our hospitals bills. These are real issues for us. I'm just looking for a candidate that I can feel confident in and stabilize things in my home and my economic future.I want security.”
In general, women want a candidate who will deliver on the economy, education, and healthcare. Someone who "gets it' and proves to them he or she understands their daily struggles.
I’ve discovered women also care more about issues that hit close to home. These are issues the experts call “survival issues,” like the rising cost of gasoline and groceries. Women tend to focus less on issues like tax cuts. As one Indiana single mom said to me, “we run the household, we fill up the gas tank, we buy the groceries. I want to think about the whole world but day to day I'm thinking about what's happening in my house and if I can pay my electric bill.”
I also found women really tend to choose candidates they can identify with. A young lawyer I met, Stephanie Spirer, told me she is voting for Obama because like him she was saddled with student debt. He just paid his off a few years ago. Spirer said, “I know how much it costs to go to college. The debts students accumulate right now is astronomical.”
No doubt the candidates have figured out what women want.. question is which candidates message will resonate best and possibly propel them to victory. What do you think?
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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