Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Women key in Virginia primary

Women are always a key demographic in a Democratic primary. Last year for the Presidential one in Virginia exit polls showed them making up 57% of the vote.

How Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe, and Brian Moran are able to appeal to them over the next three months is likely to be critical in determining who ends up winning the Democratic nomination for Governor not just because they comprise such a large portion of the electorate but also because women have made a lot fewer firm conclusions than men about the candidates so far.

69% of women have no opinion of Deeds compared to 58% of men. 50% have no opinion of McAuliffe compared to 39% for men. The gap is smaller for Moran, with 56% of women and 55% of men not holding an opinion of him yet. Looking at the horse race, 49% of women are undecided compared to 42% of men.

The race is a gridlock among women just as it is overall, with McAuliffe leading Moran 20-19. If any of the candidates is able to get a leg up with this key Democratic constituency it would go a long way toward victory in June.

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