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Soccer Moms Do More Than Shuttle Kids

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RALEIGH — For the most part, they are smart,upwardly mobile women who know whatthey want out of life and how they wanttheir government to effect it.

They're called soccer moms.

"After having children, I definitelybecame more aware of how important itis to vote," said Nancy Pate, a mother of two, including 8-year-old David,a soccer player.

Pate has become part of apowerful group in American politics, agroup loosely referred to as the "soccermoms."

She's acollege graduate, and politicallyaware.

"I pay attention to education, notjust women's issues," she said. "The economy is a big one. That andeducation would be the two biggest (issues) forme."

"We really are talking about theincreasingly important role of suburbanwomen and how they vote and the impacttheir votes have on elections," said N.C. State University professor RobinDorff, a political analyst.

For example, more women than men wentto the polls in 1992. More than half of married women whovoted cast ballots for Bill Clinton,as did 60 percent of single womenvoters.

Dorff believes the upward trend ofwomen's involvement in politics hasmore to do with a higher level ofeducation and income than it does withgender.

"they certainly, many of them areprofessional, working women as well,balancing careers and family," he said.

Eight-year-old C.T.'s mother agrees.

"Nowadays, most little girls aregeared to going to college, andhopefully that opens their minds up alittle bit to be more aware of what'sgoing on," said Micki Weeda, another "soccer mom."

As in 1992, most analysts expect amajority of women to again vote forbill Clinton. The abortion issue seems to be amajor factor in pushing otherwisedevout Republican women to theDemocratic ticket.

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