Bus Tour Targets Conservative Women Amid Sagging Poll Numbers

August 8, 2012

A conservative women's group made a Charlottesville stop as part of a bus tour, while new poll numbers show more female Virginia voters are leaning toward Democrats in November's elections.

For the past two days, the group Concerned Women for America has been traveling in North Carolina and Virginia meeting voters. The bus stopped at Meade Park in Charlottesville for an hour on Wednesday.

The mission of the tour is to get conservative women registered to vote and excited for November's election. The latest Quinnipiac University poll numbers show women can make a difference in the election.

"Certainly, from my experience of going from city to city in the state of Virginia, women are enthusiastic," said Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America. "I will tell you that I think the enthusiasm index is on our side."

The poll shows a tight race between Barack Obama (D) and Mitt Romney (R) in Virginia, with Obama having a slight edge -- 49 percent to 45 percent. Among women, though, it's a different story, as the poll shows women favoring Obama by a 14-point margin over Romney -- 54 percent to 40 percent.

The U.S. Senate race between former Govs. Tim Kaine (D) and George Allen (R) is also close. Kaine has a slight advantage over Allen -- 48 percent to 46 percent. With women, though, it's a different story. The poll shows 51 percent of women favor Kaine compared to 42 percent for Allen.

"The year that we've had in the state legislature has worried a lot of women," said Charlottesville city councilor Kristin Szakos.

Szakos, a Democrat, said one cause of the steep divide could be the year in Richmond. There was much talk of legislation, specifically relating to women's health, that Szakos said some considered personal attacks.

"Those were mostly backed by Republicans, so I think for a lot of women, they didn't like that," she said. "I think that's being played out in the national election."

Both Republicans and Democrats agree that the most important thing for the public to do is register to vote and cast a ballot in November.

"We have religious freedom at stake. We have so many issues facing this nation, and people feel at their gut level that something's wrong," Nance said.

Nance said the group's mission on the bus tour is to make sure conservative and evangelical women are registered to vote. But another concern for the group is that even with registered conservative women, they say about half do not show up to the polls on Election Day.

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