According to a new national poll commissioned by Lifetime Networks, Barack Obama leads John McCain 49%-38% with women voters. Not surprisingly, Obama’s strength is with minority women. Eight nine percent of African American women, and 62% of Hispanic women said that they are supporting Obama.
Interestingly, those surveyed said the gender of each candidate’s choice of running mate does not matter. Fifty five percent of Obama supporters said selecting a woman as his running mate does not matter, and 62% of McCain supporters said that it did not matter. However, Obama would benefit by selecting a woman running mate, while McCain could actually be hurt by it.
Twenty nine percent of women said that they would be more likely to support Obama if he had a female running mate, while 15% said that they would be more inclined to support McCain, but 20% said that they would be less likely to support the Republican if he added a woman to the ticket. Obama has a higher positive rating than McCain 53%-37%. Overall voters are split on McCain 37% view him favorably, and 31% unfavorably. Obama leads McCain with Independent women 42%-30% with 20% still undecided.
Most of the Hillary Clinton supporters have moved to Obama (76%), but 18% answered that they will vote for John McCain. Most women blame bad campaign strategy as the reason why Hillary Clinton lost (34%). Thirty one percent blamed her loss on who she was and what she stood for, and 21% said that she lost because she is a woman. The top four issues listed by the women surveyed in this poll were the economy (41%), the war in Iraq (24%), healthcare (23%) and education (17%).
At best Obama is splitting the male vote with John McCain, so women are a critical group that he must win in November. Judging from this poll, it would appear that the bad feelings of the Democratic primary campaign have passed for most Clinton supporters. I think much of the credit for this goes to Hillary Clinton herself. She has led her supporters by example and thrown herself into the Obama campaign. I still believe that the coalition that will power Obama to victory will be made up of younger voters, minorities, and women.
The full poll results can be read here.