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Pollsters: Bush, Gore need to woo 'waitress moms'

WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - "Waitress moms" and "Social Security women" have joined "soccer moms" as demographic groups that need to be wooed in the endgame of the U.S. presidential campaign, two female pollsters said on Wednesday.

These three groups of women could make a difference in the key battleground states, according to Republican pollster Linda DiVall.

"If you look at the Midwest and Florida (where Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore are campaigning hard) ... there are probably three groups of women that are important: it would be the soccer mom, the waitress mom and the Social Security woman," DiVall said at a news conference.

She defined the last as "a woman who's 65-plus who is very worried about Social Security and Medicare." This kind of voter is concerned about "values" and does not approve of President Bill Clinton on this score, DiVall said.

These women tend to make up their minds about a presidential candidate late in the election cycle, and tend to be swayed by specific details about policy on issues they care about, DiVall and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said.

Lake said the desire for specifics by these voters was a plus for Vice President Gore, known for his exhaustive mastery of issues, but DiVall maintained that Bush could also benefit.

"Some women may look at the debates and say (Texas) Gov. Bush came across as presidential," DiVall said. "That sounds like a stylistic thing, but it may be issues that formulated their image of (Bush's) looking presidential."

Both pollsters agreed the presidential and vice presidential debates could be pivotal with these groups of women.

In findings commissioned by the Washington-based bi-partisan Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Lifetime cable television network geared toward women, the pollsters said women still care most about the same economic issues that mattered in the 1996 election cycle: equal pay and benefits in the workplace and the ability to juggle work and family.

In fact, 71 percent of all women surveyed said they would choose a job with more flexibility and benefits over a job that paid more.

Most women see opportunity in the current booming economy, where four years ago they saw economic instability when asked in a similar survey, but good times have not reached all women, according to the pollsters.

While 56 percent of college-educated women said the boom has helped them, only 34 percent of women who did not go to college said so.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Wednesday, September 27, 2000


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