Watch out for "Wal-Mart women" as the newest demographic group group "holding the key" to the election. At least that is what Jane Sasseen of Business Week posits:
Move over, Soccer Moms, there's a new gal in town.... an increasingly crucial demographic in the Presidential election: Wal-Mart Women. These lower-middle-class white women who shop frequently at the discounter are stretched thin and feel increasingly vulnerable. "This is a critical group, and they're up for grabs," says pollster John Zogby.
No one knows that better than Bill McInturff, the longtime pollster for presumptive Republican nominee John McCain who coined the term Wal-Mart Women. "Republicans have to be able to compete for these women," he says. "We can't win without them." To drive that point home, Senator McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, in early April urged a group of state party officials to get to know these voters and better understand their lives.
The Democrats recognize their importance, too. Clinton and Senator Barack Obama are waging a fierce war to win them over in Pennsylvania. The fact is, women hauling smiley-face Wal-Mart bags make up a big chunk of the country: Nearly 20% of American women shop at Wal-Mart once a week or more. And the white women who constitute the majority of that group are classic swing voters, unlike their husbands.
I gather that these women are regarded by the Democrat candidates as too stupid to remember all the flak directed at Wal-Mart by Democrats. Wal-Mart shoppers appreciate all the money they save there.
Perhaps Hillary will start reminding voters that she used to sit on Wal-Mart's board of directors, and Michelle Obama will brag about her former membership on the board of a major supplier to Wal-Mart, Tree House Foods. The only problem is that the unions hate Wal-Mart, and would be up in arms. Maybe they will be silent until the election is over. That would merely confirm that they believe voters are stupid.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky