The most interesting finding of a recent NYT poll on voter preferences before the midterms: The Democrats have lost their edge with women. Though the NYT write-up of the poll doesn’t mention the change, it shows up in the accompanying graph. When asked “If the 2014 election for United States House of Representatives seats were being held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate in your district?” women favor Democrats over Republicans by one point only, 43 to 42 percent.This is a huge swing in a short period of time: just one month earlier, women preferred Democrats by 51 percent to 37 percent in response to that question in a similar Wall Street Journal poll. Nobody quite knows what accounts for the shift, but given that support for President Obama’s foreign policy has seen similar big drops among women, it’s likely the recent global unrest is part of the cause.Perhaps what we are seeing here is the awakening of the under-appreciated “Wal-Mart mom” Jacksonians. Many Americans are default Jacksonians who favor muscular use of force abroad to protect U.S. interests. But when things seem to be going reasonably well, their Jacksonianism lies dormant, and they can appear to be non-interventionists. It is only when threats pile up and the world begins to seem less safe that Americans reveal their true foreign policy colors. Mothers with younger children can, as any student of human nature will tell you, act aggressively if they feel their children’s safety is threatened.Though Obama’s “war on women” rhetoric has served him well to date, it may be losing its pull among women now concerned about, well, actual wars.
foreign policy is backDemocrats Lose Edge with Women Voters