Guest Author - Tracey-Kay Caldwell
This election may see new voters voting with the Democrats, voters who have traditionally been Republican. The Washington Post had an article on military moms, both mothers of soldiers, and moms with husbands in the military, who are disenchanted with the war. They like Hillary Clinton and her strong foreign policy stance. As a military mom myself, I can understand why they find that appealing. With my own son serving in Iraq, I am concerned that something be done to take the strain off our military. As a lifelong liberal, Hillary didn’t initially appeal to me, but as the campaign goes on she has moved from a definite no, to someone I could vote for, if there was no one better. She has proved to me that she is competent. She is sort of the best of Bill Clinton without the liability of his personal risk taking nature. I do think she has the experience to get us out of this war with as little damage as possible.
Then there are Hispanic voters, evangelicals and Catholics, who voted with Republicans on social conservative issues. But the Republicans have shunned them. The Miami-Herald is reporting that, Univisión, the Spanish language network has called off the Republican presidential debate after only one contender agreed to participate. The Miami-Herald states that, “All eight Democratic candidates are slated to show up Sept. 9, and party leaders plan to highlight the contrast. The New Democratic Network, a nationwide political group, is planning news conferences and inviting Hispanic leaders, including Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, former Cabinet member Henry Cisneros and U.S. Rep. Luís Gutiérrez of Illinois.” Many Hispanic broke with the Republican Party over immigration and poverty issues. And of course Democrats have a Hispanic candidate, Bill Richardson.
Also considering breaking from the Republican Party are evangelical Christian disappointed in the scandals plaguing Republican lawmakers, and concerned with rising poverty and environmental issues. Unsatisfied with the choice of candidates the Republican Party has put forth, they wonder if the Democratic candidates are morally more fit for office. They find particularly appealing John Edwards, the white southern Christian male candidate. His issues, poverty and education, are both problems that have long plagued the south. His concern for the environment and oil as a national security issue plays well with them. He is addressing issues that have long been neglected and are overdue for a little attention.
The question for the Democratic Party is can they choose a candidate who can hold all these potential swing voters and turn them into lifelong democrats.