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Women May Be Swing Vote For Bowles, Dole

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Females outnumber male voters by 500,000 in North Carolina, which should be good news for Elizabeth Dole, who is trying to become the state's first female senator. However, more women have voted Democrat than Republican in the state's recent Senate elections.

Dole has been blazing trails for decades as a two-time Cabinet Secretary and former president of the Red Cross. Dole's credentials have made a big impression on women like Raleigh resident Sarah Brownlee.

"It makes me think she's twenty times smarter than most men to get where she's gotten as a woman," Brownlee said.

Brownlee has not decided who to vote for yet, which puts her in the coveted category of women who could swing the election, but some residents said gender will not be the deciding factor.

"Not necessarily. Gender is not that important," resident Robin Ward said.

Dole is counting on Democratic women to cross party lines and vote for her, just as Republican women did for John Edwards in 1998. Edwards had 59 percent support among women. Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue is trying to help Democratic nominee Erskine Bowles close the gap.

"I think the female vote is critical. Fifty-two percent of the voters are women and they tend to vote, especially older women. He has to continue to get the message out to women," she said.

The latest

Mason-Dixon poll

shows 47 percent of women would vote for Dole while 42 percent would vote for Bowles.


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