From the Washington Post polling unit a few thoughts unit on Mark Penn's optimistic assessment (as reported by The Trail's Dan Balz) of Clinton's prospects among Republican women:
1) If 24 percent of Republican women were to vote for Clinton in Nov. 2008, she would significantly outperform any Democratic candidate since 1972 among this group of voters. In exit polls 1972-2004, an average of 9 percent of GOP women voted for Democratic candidates. (Average is 8 percent among Republican men.) High was in 1996, when 15 percent of Republican women voted to re-elect Bill Clinton; the low was last time, when 7 percent supported Kerry.
2) Clinton did get about this number in the 2006 New York Senate race: 22 percent of Republican women voted for Clinton, as did 18 percent of Republican men. For context, in 2004 Schumer won 32 percent of GOP women and 34 percent of Republican men. In 2000, Clinton won 14 percent of GOP votes (same percentage for women and men), under-performing Gore by about five points.
3) In the latest Post-ABC, 80 percent of Republican women said they definitely would not support Clinton if she were the Democratic nominee. Fewer said so of Obama or Edwards. Only 11 percent said they would vote for her in a general election match-up against Giuliani.
4) Also from Post-ABC: Just 8 percent of Republican women consider themselves "feminists." By contrast, a third of Democratic and 29 percent of independent women describe themselves that way.
October 18, 2007; 4:11 PM ET
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