This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Will Waitress Moms Move the Election?

The US presidential election is getting ever closer to election day (although I've already voted, so I guess my personal election day is behind me), and the two candidates are essentially tied in the national public opinion polls. This means that everyone is looking for that group of undecided voters who, if they actually do go to the polls, will make the difference one way or another. This week's favorite demographic group is "waitress moms," as the NY Times explains:
Whether or not the term “waitress moms” endures, it defines a distinct demographic: blue-collar white women who did not attend college. And they are getting a lot of attention from both campaigns as the presidential race barrels toward its conclusion because even at this late date, pollsters say, many waitress moms have not settled on a candidate. They feel no loyalty to one party or the other, though they tend to side with Republicans.
“Blue-collar women are most likely to be the remaining movable part of the electorate, which is precisely why both campaigns are going at them as hard as they are,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, who is advising Priorities USA, a pro-Obama “super PAC.”
About 9 percent of all voters in 2008 were white women without college degrees who had an annual household income of less than $50,000, according to exit polls.
Note that there is a bit of demographic fudging here when calling these women "waitress moms." Most are not waitresses and many are not moms. But who's going to check on that? Maybe the "soccer moms" of the 1996 election, who may or may not have had anything to do with the outcome of that election.

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