Saturday - Breakout #5

"Earn Our Votes: "

The goal of this session is to come up with 12 questions that Blogherites want answered by candidates, especially Presidential candidates. We are warned that Blogher is a nonpartisan.

A GOP advisor (use to work on the McCain campaign) says that if they can get to close to 50% women voters, they win. The gender gap is huge. Thanks to Ellie Smeal for documenting it in the 1980s. Women care about: Iraq, Health care, jobs, immigration, terrorism, and environment in that order in a recent poll. Women btw 18-49 care about health care more than other age groups and immigration is of more concern for men.

  • Iraq: Younger women (YW) and older women (OW) think it's gotten worse.
  • Immigration: Women think it hurts more than it helps BUT it's not a top issue. 47% hurt vs 41% for men.
    • When women talk about immigration they talk about how their children don't get enough attn in school due to spanish speaking children, longer waits at ERs due to people without health insurance (ummm...the white NYer next to me doesn't have insurance either!)
women polling data from 2006:
  • Women's vote key in VA, MO, MT - determined control of the Senate
  • unmarried women, fastest growing demo in the US, were more likely for Dem candidates in last election
  • women's agenda is broader than men's includes child care, early education & equality for women. The environment - spec energy ind & global warming - also on the agenda
    • have to connect it to health to really get women involved
  • Top concerns among men and women
    • GOP women: Iraq, corruption in govt, social security & retirement
    • Ind women: Health care, economy & jobs, Iraq
    • Dem women: health care, social security & retirement, economy & jobs
NOTE: A TV camera is now in the room and freaking me out. Sorry for major typos!

  • NYTimes data on HC: 45% women favorable, 36% men favorable
    • STRIKING PPT slide that I don't have the time or energy to put in here. They should be posted soon.
  • More than half of single women have a favorable impression of HRC (53%0
    • single men - 43%, married women 39%, married men 32%
  • When polls are done, are they asking if the people are 'informed' of the candidates?
    • Screening questions are usually if they voted, will they vote, not where candidates stand on the war
  • How can women candidates deflect the idea that if they are successful that women voters become jealous for that success?
    • Women need to be empathetic. Be honest about struggling with issues.
    • Overwhelmingly women support women candidates. When women ar eon the ballot, women vote. From EMILY's List
  • How can we deepen the dialog instead of reacting?
    • Stop using crisis because you lose people. Engage, education people.
  • Any post-Katrina data?
    • Nothing too much, but have a feeling that people saw what happened with Katrina and came to a conclusion that the govt isn't working.
  • HRC - Policy vs smear campaign? (posed by Jennifer Pozner, ED, WIMN)
    • GOP pundit says it's a policy problem with GOP women not just cattiness
    • HRC campaign person - The more people get to know her, the more they like her. It's overcoming the GOP smearing. When she won reelection, she won counties that GWB won!
  • How can you explain the diff btw how people view a candidate and what they care about issue-wise?
    • It's a combination. For Arnold Schwarzenegger, his personality helps his issues. For Phil Crane (IL), the more he got out to meet voters, the more his numbers went down!
  • Is the HRC race a do-or-die situation?
    • If she loses, does this doom future women candidates?
    • If she wins, does this mean for more power for women overall?
    • Kim Gandy responds that personally and for NOW, being a woman is NOT the only reason to vote for a candidate. Weight the issues. It's imp for our sons to see women as leaders & consider operating under a woman boss/supervisor.
  • Deborah Siegel, author, asks if there is any generational differences in support for HRC? Boomer women vs women in their 20s?
    • Have to remember that single women are of all age ranges (unmarried, widowed, etc.)
    • No data that splits an age diff
    • There is data that shows education is the deciding factor. Less educated women support HRC higher than educated women
Now we're breaking up into group discussions. I'm sitting in the health care corner, so I think I may stay right where I am.

We need to come up with three questions to ask the candidates! Yikes!

There's a list of issues going around, that I don't have yet. We each get three votes for the numerous issues. There were in addition to the ones on the sheet:
  • allocate fairly?
  • rationing health care?
  • incl long term disabilities
  • mental health parity
  • insurance companies dictating dr's choice of treatment (procedures & medication)
  • how will they lead us in a disc about health care without the politics & religion that usually goes into it? Let's get the science back into healthcare
  • family friendly healthcare
  • where does healthcare fall in their priorities? #1? Behind education?
  • what is their healthcare policy/proposal?
Now here's the feedback:

IRAQ: 1] Money, spending; 2] Leaving Iraq - will you work to leave Iraq by the end of your 1st term, y/n, why?; 3] VA healthcare

ENVIRONMENT: 1] React to the fact that we are coming to a pt of no return, how will your policies protect people from pollution? 2]how will they define their legacy in terms of climate change? 3] Mass transit is the third, but not fully formed.

ECONOMICS: 1] Most sm biz owners are women, will you give self-employed a tax credit to pay for their own self-insurance? 2] Housing issue: How do you prevent predatory lending in the future & how it effects other mortgages; 3] Gap btw rich & poor & women & children are incr at risk: How will you help break the cycle of poverty for women and children? It's not fully formed yet.

HEALTHCARE: 1] rationing care...we just can't afford to give everyone everything that they want, incl end of care. Should it be rationed by lottery? market place? 2] how to ensure that everyone gets health insurance? 3] how do we get birth control covered by all insurance? we can take action:
  • Build your coalitions
  • You have two targets: candidates & others who think like you
  • change our culture so that it's ok to talk about politics
Jennifer Pozner has the floor now:
  • Women are about half the bloggers: Don't believe anything different. We do have presence and own that.
  • 1/3 of bloggers consider their blog journalism
  • 56% bloggers spend extra time verifying fact
  • we should all consider ourselves citizen journalists & fact check
    • we don't need a press pass to call up a campaign to ask a question. Blog it!
  • CNN/YouTube debate is a great case study
    • A great question about policy was reframed as an individual question
  • get involved in media reform groups, make relationships with media, use our blogs, support indy media
No time for questions at the end. *pout* But we ended on time!

It should be noted that the only candidates who sent representatives were Clinton & Edwards. ALL candidates were notified of Blogher and the political sessions today.