Poll: Bush Can No Longer Count On Southern Women
In both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, Southern women were among President Bush's most ardent supporters, defying the traditional gender gap in which women have preferred Democrats to Republicans.
In 2004, Bush received 54% of the Southern female vote, while women nationally favored Democrat John Kerry, 51%-48%.
But the tide is changing. A recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that three out of five Southern women surveyed said they planned to vote for a Democrat in the midterm elections. Why? Dissatisfaction with President Bush's handling of the Iraq War, as well as a variety of domestic issues.
The poll found that just 32% of Southern women approve of Bush's handling of the Iraq War -- in line with the 28% of women nationwide offering approval.
How weak has support for Bush become? Ask Barbara Knight, a self-described Republican since birth and resident of Macon, Ga.
"I think history will show him to be the worst president since Ulysses S. Grant," Knight, who backed Bush in 2000 but not 2004, told the AP. "He's been an embarrassment."
In the heart of Dixie, comparisons to Grant, a symbol of the Union, are the worst sort of insult.
Fellow Macon resident Sandy Rubin, who voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004, says that like Knight, she's likely to vote for Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA) this November.
Rubin said the GOP's focus on issues that appeal to social conservatives, such as gay marriage and abortion, have turned her off.
"I care about job security and education. The things I hear the Republicans emphasizing in their campaigns are not things that affect me or my family," she said.