Washington Daybook: Sophisticated Soccer Moms

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Dalinda Guillen, a delegate from Texas, center, holds her daughter Cinco, before the start of day one at the DNC.

President Barack Obama, in his speech tonight accepting the nomination for a second term, may subtly target a critical subset of the female vote: married women with children.

Call them sophisticated soccer moms, they’ve become wealthier and better educated during the last two decades and they are less likely to vote Democratic than female voters as a whole. Obama won married mothers by 4 percentage points in 2008 compared with his 13-percentage-point margin among all women, exit polls show.

Obama’s speech, schedule for 10:10 p.m., may reflect that married moms today are less interested in the social safety net and more interested in tax policy. They are also more reliable voters than unmarried women, the BGOV Barometer shows.

Registered married female voters with children under 18 supported Romney 50 percent to 42 percent for Obama, a Quinnipiac University poll found July 11. Unless Obama can reduce that 8 percentage point gap to 5 or less, he will lose, said USC professor Ange-Marie Hancock.

One day after former President Bill Clinton wowed the DNC with his speech nominating Obama for a second term and calling for more inter-party cooperation on the economy, another former president, Jimmy Carter, speaks on inter-American relations today at a Development Bank of Latin America conference in Washington.

Also today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce holds a discussion on the case for permanent normal trade relations with Russia, Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials give an overview of the Fukushima incident at the National Academy of Sciences, the Federal Reserve releases financial disclosure forms of Chairman Ben Bernanke and other board members, and film star Kathleen Turner, chairwoman of Planned Parenthood’s Board of Advocates, delivers a National Press Club luncheon address on reproductive rights and the state of women’s health.

And if you thought you could relax as the convention season winds up with two months left to go before election day, you’re wrong. Early voting begins today in North Carolina.

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