The Associated Press is keeping up its "types of women who are defecting from the Republican Party" coverage this week, and we couldn't be happier. Last month, Southern women were identified as reassessing their options; now, as Rep. Nancy Pelosi predicted, it's married mothers. "After winning over moms in back-to-back elections, Republicans have lost their advantage among married women with children this year," the wire service concludes, based on recent AP/Ipsos and Pew Research Center polls. It all sounds very volcanic: "Married moms have become a volatile swing group just as Democrats need to gain 15 GOP-held House seats and six in the Senate to win control of Capitol Hill," the AP reports. ("Just as" may be a little misplaced here, since Dems' need to win seats isn't exactly new, but we're glad to read that women are shaking up the election prospects with their swinging volatility.)
The trend doesn't mean all married moms are poised to desert the GOP; according to the poll, this demographic is split evenly between the two parties. But the AP observes that "Republicans won this voting group by 18 percentage points in 2002 and Bush won it by 14 percentage points in 2004." Now, the wire service says, "that GOP advantage has evaporated."
Also interesting: In the past two elections, analysts and exit polls have indicated that married moms voted for George W. Bush because of his social conservatism and because they "had a general fondness for the man himself," the AP notes. Now, those voters are concerned about the war in Iraq, the economy, Hurricane Katrina and the threat of terrorism. So much for the GOP's belittling of domestically focused "mommy" voters! What's more, the AP asserts that "the frustration in this group of voters is a reflection of the broader population." Man, do we hope it's right.