One of the foremost experts on politics in the Granite State thinks she has found the next critical constituency: military moms.I will give you this - Clinton is the only serious candidate the Democrats are offering up. I thought former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) (no relation to the Senator) would have given the Dems a real choice - but oh well.
"She would typically be a Republican who is not against war and is not necessarily against this war -- or at least may have supported it when it began," Jennifer Donahue, senior adviser for political affairs at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, said over sodas at the Red Arrow Diner last week.
The military mom -- who has either a child or a husband who is serving -- is disenchanted with the war. The question is: Will she shift allegiance to support a Democrat, or is she looking for an independent-minded Republican?
She is " the swing vote," Donahue said. Especially in New Hampshire.
One need look no further than down the counter at the Red Arrow to find a military mom, Elaine Boule, the manager, who lost a brother-in-law to the war in Iraq and is about to abandon her lifelong pattern of backing Republicans to support a Democrat, possibly http://www2.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifSen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.).
That is typical, Donahue said: The military mom "would probably vote for a candidate who she thought would have credibility on foreign affairs, so that on the Democratic side is most likely to be Hillary Clinton." Most polling shows Clinton far ahead on the question of experience. She also scores an advantage among women generally -- and her campaign strategists think she will draw even more women, including Republicans, once voting begins.
Funny thing happened on the way to the theory though...
Still, a Washington Post-ABC News poll in April found that more women in military families had already rejected Clinton outright (48 percent) than had women in nonmilitary households (34 percent).There are the MilMoms I know. As for Donahue, I think the "..television producer who moved into academia.." may explain the disconnect between her reality and mine.
As she watches the campaign unfold, Donahue, a former television producer who moved into academia after the 2000 presidential race, said she is noticing other distinct trends in New Hampshire that are not necessarily being reflected at the national level.