Southern-fried George W. Bush

Turned off by Bush's policies, women in the South may turn away from the GOP this fall.

Published September 7, 2006 7:44PM (EDT)

Will Southern women defect from the GOP in the congressional elections this November because they're disillusioned with the president's policies? That's the argument of an Associated Press piece today, which interviews Southern women who have supported Bush in the past. In the 2004 election, 54 percent of Southern women voted for President Bush over John Kerry, while, nationally, 51 percent of women favored John Kerry.

Yet even among those who voted for him, support for the president is waning, especially among women. National poll results show that women are more likely than men to say that they're disillusioned with the war, and to list the war in Iraq as the most important issue facing the country. Plus, a recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that three out of five Southern women surveyed planned to vote for a Democrat in the midterm elections.

The administration's continued emphasis on culture-war topics like gay marriage and abortion has turned off some Southern women, like Sandy Rubin, a high school teacher in Macon, Ga., who usually votes Republican. "I care about job security and education. The things I hear the Republicans emphasizing in their campaigns are not things that affect me or my family," the 39-year-old mother of two told the AP.

But will Democractic candidates provide an alternative by focusing on those issues?

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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