The Democratic Party’s advantage among women, an important bulwark against expected Republican gains this fall, is slipping amid declining support for President Barack Obama and a rise in national-security concerns, recent polling shows.
Democrats continue to hold a solid edge over Republicans among women, but this past week’s Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found a narrower margin. Some 47% of women said they wanted the midterm elections to produce a Democratic-controlled Congress, seven points more than the share backing a GOP-led Congress. Just a month earlier, women had favored a Democratic Congress by 14 points, 51% to 37%.
Moreover, women registered new lows of their view of Mr. Obama’s job performance, especially on his handling of foreign policy, a noteworthy turn among what had been a reliably supportive group.
The latest poll finds a particularly sharp reversal among white women: They now prefer a GOP Congress by 48% to 40%, a reversal from the four-point edge Democrats enjoyed last month. Approval of Mr. Obama’s job performance dropped among white women to 32%, with 62% disapproving—a 30-point gap. The gap had been 24 points in August.
It isn’t clear exactly why women’s attitudes are shifting, but the change comes just as analysts also find a marked upswing in women’s anxiety about national-security issues.
A recent focus group conducted by Republican and Democratic pollsters of women they call “Wal-Mart moms”—shoppers at the retail chain with children under 18—showed unusually high levels of concern about international issues, specifically the emergence of Islamic State, the militant group that has swept into Iraq and recently beheaded two U.S. journalists.
“Often, international conflicts and turmoil have gone unnoticed by moms, as their focus has been directed to domestic issues that had a direct impact on their household,” said the pollsters, Republican Neil Newhouse and Democrat Margie Omero, in a memo summarizing the focus groups. “They describe recent events, from the riots in Ferguson to the ISIS beheadings, as unsettling and scary.”
The Journal/NBC poll found that 47% of voters—but 52% of women—believe the country is less safe than it was before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Only one-third of women approved of Mr. Obama’s handling of foreign policy in the new poll, down 10 points from a month earlier.
Daily Archives: September 13, 2014
Legal specialists said the validity of the claim that the Iraq authorization covers ISIS will depend on whether the bombing is a resumption of the old war or the start of a new one. In June, the White House said the Iraq authorization “is no longer used for any U.S. government activities.”
Ryan Goodman, a New York University law professor, called the theory “a stretch” and “politically awkward” because, he said, it amounted to a concession that Mr. Obama “was unsuccessful in closing out the conflict.”
Mission accomplished, baby.
A California high school principal has banned the football booster club from selling Chick-fil-A sandwiches during a back-to-school night fundraiser because she disagrees about gay marriage with the president of the Atlanta-based fast food chain.
The principal who outlawed Chick-fil-A sandwiches is Val Wyatt of Ventura High School in the coastal town of Ventura, Calif.
“With their political stance on gay rights and because the students of Ventura High School and their parents would be at the event, I didn’t want them on campus,” Wyatt said, according to CBS Los Angeles.
Wyatt said she is worried that the presence of the chicken sandwiches might offend someone.
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t have a stance on gay marriage,” [local store manager Robert] Shaffer said. “We treat everyone who walks through our doors, regardless of their religion or sexual orientation, with honor, dignity and respect.”
So who is this person that Ventura’s school district is so fearful of?
Truett Cathy, who died this week at 93, grew up dirt poor, saw a business opportunity and grew that into a chain of restaurants worth billions of dollars. Along the way, he generated hundreds of thousands of jobs, established and funded orphanages for children across this country and Brazil, and organized youth leadership programs all over the states.
Cathy opened his first postwar diner in an Atlanta suburb in 1946 and by 1967 he had founded and opened his first Chick-fil-A Inc. restaurant in Atlanta. Over ensuing decades, the chain’s boneless chicken sandwich he is credited with inventing would propel Chick-fil-A expansion to more than 1,800 outlets in 39 states and the nation’s capital. By early 2013, the company says on its website, annual sales topped $5 billion as the chain offered up a taste of the South that went beyond chicken to such offerings as sweet tea, biscuits and gravy.
Under the religiously conservative founder, the chain gained prominence for its Bible Belt observance of Sunday — none of its hundreds of restaurants are open on that day, to allow employees a day of rest. Its executives often said the chain made as much money in six days as its competitors do in seven.
Truett Cathy began his career in the restaurant business by opening with his brother in 1946 an Atlanta diner called The Dwarf Grill, which was named for the short and stout shape of the restaurant.
He has attributed his hardworking nature — even as a little boy he made money by selling six bottles of Coca-Cola for a quarter — to growing up poor.
“I’ve experienced poverty and plenty and there’s a lesson to be learned when you’re brought up in poverty,” he said in 2007. “I had to create some good work habits and attitude.”
An opportunity in 1961 led to the development of the restaurant chain’s trademark chicken sandwich when a company that cooked boneless, skinless chicken for airline meals wanted to sell him pieces that were too big for the airline customer’s needs. Cathy took those pieces and cooked them in a pressure cooker and served them in buttered buns.
The sandwich was sold at independent restaurants for a few years before he opened his first Chick-fil-A restaurant at an Atlanta shopping mall in 1967.
Cathy also was known for his efforts to help youth. In 1984 he created the WinShape Foundation to help “shape winners” through youth support programs and scholarships. He also created a long-term program for foster children that has foster care homes in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Brazil.
His sympathy for children was demonstrated in August 2008 when he worked out a deal with the parents of two girls who were accused of causing $30,000 in damage to a home he owned in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The girls were banned from watching TV and playing video games. They also had to write “I will not vandalize other people’s property” 1,000 times.
He told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that he didn’t want to have them prosecuted and left with a criminal record.
As the author of several books, his 2007 book “How Did You Do It, Truett?” outlined his strategy for success that included setting priorities, being courteous, cautiously expanding a business and not being burdened with debt.
“There’s really no secret for success,” he said then. “I hope it will open eyes for people. They don’t have to follow my recipe but this is what works for me.”
Sounds like an excellent role model for high school students, which is probably what has the public school system so frightened.
One can only hope.
Good time checking out John’s new digs in Scarborough, which sit two blocks from the ocean, but are directly on the bay side (one good wave could probably make that run in record time, but hey, probably not this year). Turns out John’s chemo treatment makes cold water intolerable, so we bagged the fishing expedition, but spent time talking and laughing and doing all the important stuff, so a successful trip.