Advertisement
Politics

N.H. Women for Hillary -- Still!

It's foolish to draw too many conclusions on the first day of a visit to assess the political mood in another state, especially after just a couple of conversations with an unscientific sampling of people (i.e., anybody who will talk to me). But I'm going to do it anyway and conclude that Barack Obama has a lot of work to do with women voters if he's going to win New Hampshire's four electoral votes.New Hamphire is a swing state, perhaps the only one in the Northeast that the pundits aren't already coloring blue for Obama.

It's foolish to draw too many conclusions on the first day of a visit to assess the political mood in another state, especially after just a couple of conversations with an unscientific sampling of people (i.e., anybody who will talk to me). But I'm going to do it anyway and conclude that Barack Obama has a lot of work to do with women voters if he's going to win New Hampshire's four electoral votes.

Advertisement - Article continues below

New Hamphire is a swing state, perhaps the only one in the Northeast that the pundits aren't already coloring blue for Obama. It's also, you'll remember, the site of the first presidential primary. That was in early January -- eons ago for most of us -- but for many women who live here it was just yesterday. Obama came to the state fresh off his upset in the Iowa caucuses, and the polls suggested he'd win big here and the race would quickly be over.

Not so fast, said Hillary Clinton and the women who saw her as their long-awaited chance to crack the biggest and toughest glass ceiling of them all. Clinton pulled off an upset that allowed her to stay in the race throughout the primary season. Although Obama ultimately won the race, it left a lot of bad and even bitter feelings behind.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Many of Hillary's backers throughout the country still want her to be the president. That's true in states that went overwhelmingly for Obama, like my home state of Maryland. A quiet dinner with a 91-year-old friend of the family there recently turned incredibly vituperative when she attacked a couple of the other women in the group for voting for Obama and attacked all of the men in the group -- well, for being men and presumably standing in the way of women. We had blown her only chance, as she saw it, to see a woman in the White House. And for what? Some unknown guy who hasn't done anything but make nice speeches.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Well, that sentiment is very much alive in New Hampshire, where women are still smarting and holding out. In a recent Granite State poll, 53% of women who had made up their minds said they'd vote for Obama, but nearly half of all women said they had were holding back and still hadn't decided what they'd do. That means that only a quarter were behind Obama. With McCain running well ahead among men in this state, Obama's only chance for victory is to win over those undecided women.

Will they come around in the end? A supporter of Democratic Senate candidate Jeanne Shaheen predicts they will. They'll come out to vote for Shaheen, who was the first woman elected governor in the state and is locked in a close race with incumbent Republican John Sununu. And once they come out to cast a ballot for Shaheen, this woman said, they'll vote for Obama, if for no other reason than they don't want to risk a more conservative Supreme Court.

Maybe she's right. But two months have passed since the nomination battle ended and the sore feelings are still there. Will three more months make a difference, especially if Obama fails to make a stronger impression on these doubters as a passable Clinton stand-in. The convention the last week of this month may help -- with Hillary scheduled to give a major address Tuesday night. But the convention could make matters worse. Will Hillary's name be placed in nomination? What feelings might that and her speech rekindle? Those are just some of the bumps ahead for Obama and it's anybody's guess how it will all play out. But if you think Hillary is gone from the scene, think again.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You

President Trump has issued an executive order to defer the collection of payroll taxes. How much will it save you?
August 9, 2020
What a Payroll Tax Cut Would Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What a Payroll Tax Cut Would Mean for You

If Congress can't pass another stimulus bill, President Trump says he will initiate a payroll tax cut by executive order. How much would that save you…
August 8, 2020
7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement
happy retirement

7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement

If you want a long and fulfilling retirement, you need more than money. Here are the most valuable retirement assets to have (besides money), and how …
August 3, 2020

Recommended

Vote by Mail: A State-by-State Guide to Absentee Ballot Voting
Politics

Vote by Mail: A State-by-State Guide to Absentee Ballot Voting

With health authorities recommending people continue to social distance, the idea of voting by mail is becoming an increasingly hot topic.
August 4, 2020
Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans
taxes

Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans

With the economy in trouble, tax policy takes on added importance in the 2020 presidential election. So, let's take a look at what Joe Biden has said …
July 22, 2020
Answers to PPP Loan FAQs (Now That There's Fresh Funding for the Loans)
small business loans

Answers to PPP Loan FAQs (Now That There's Fresh Funding for the Loans)

Small business owners are getting another crack at Paycheck Protection Program loans. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the lo…
July 21, 2020
Travel Planning in the Time of Coronavirus
Travel

Travel Planning in the Time of Coronavirus

Insurance may not cover canceled vacations, but airlines and hotels may be flexible.
June 11, 2020