GOP Women for Clinton?
Earlier today, Hillary Clinton's top strategist Mark Penn estimated she could get as many as a quarter of Republican women to vote for her in the general election if she's the nominee.
Here's some perspective on that optimistic assessment . . .
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 from 1972 to 2004, an average of 9 percent of GOP women voted for Democratic candidates. (The average is 8 percent among Republican men.) The high was in 1996, when 15 percent of Republican women voted to re-elect Bill Clinton; the low was 2004, when 7 percent supported Kerry.
2) Clinton did win over almost a quarter of women GOPers 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 New York Sen. Chuck 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) in New York, under-performing Vice President Al Gore in the Empire State by about five points.
3) In the latest Post-ABC poll, 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 Rudy 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.
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