By Cynthia L. Cooper
Tuesday, April 25, 2000
Panelists agreed that the female electorate does not vote as one. Women do care more about education and health care than male voters, they explain, but they differ dramatically about policy preferences and priorities.
(WOMENSENEWS)--A leading political analyst says there is simply no such thing as the "women's vote."
Anna Greenberg, an assistant professor of public policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, told a New Yorkconference on gender and politics that she still believes that women will be an important factor and, by all projections, a gender gap will emergewith Democrats drawing more women voters.
But she argues that putting 100 million women voters in a single box and stamping it with a gender label distracts from recognizing serious political differences among women.
"We never say there is a 'men's vote,'" said Greenberg. "Women aremotivated to vote in different sorts of ways."
Greenberg was one among several speakers debunking the notion of amonolithic woman voter at the discussion sponsored by the Henry J. KaiserFamily Foundation.
Polls currently show Democratic candidate Al Gore with a seven to tenpointlead among women voters over Republican candidate George W. Bush. That isnot a large enough margin to elect Gore, speakers said.
One big division among women is race. White women voters actually supported Republican candidates in 1998 congressional races, said Greenberg.Minority women provided the margin of difference to give Democrats 53 percent of the women's vote.
"For reasons that have to do with race rather than gender, 92 percent ofblack women supported Democratic candidates in congressional elections, and that was enough for the overall women's vote to lean Democratic," saidGreenberg. A strong majority of Latinas (63 percent) also supported Democratic candidates, but only 46 percent of whit