Local News

Soccer Moms Do More Than Shuttle Kids

Posted October 24, 1996 12:00 a.m. EDT

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

They're called soccer moms.

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

Pate has become part of a powerful group in American politics, a group loosely referred to as the "soccer moms."

She's a college graduate, and politically aware.

"I pay attention to education, not just women's issues," she said. "The economy is a big one. That and education would be the two biggest (issues) for me."

"We really are talking about the increasingly important role of suburban women and how they vote and the impact their votes have on elections," said N.C. State University professor Robin Dorff, a political analyst.

For example, more women than men went to the polls in 1992. More than half of married women who voted cast ballots for Bill Clinton, as did 60 percent of single women voters.

Dorff believes the upward trend of women's involvement in politics has more to do with a higher level of education and income than it does with gender.

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

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

"Nowadays, most little girls are geared to going to college, and hopefully that opens their minds up a little bit to be more aware of what's going on," said Micki Weeda, another "soccer mom."

As in 1992, most analysts expect a majority of women to again vote for bill Clinton. The abortion issue seems to be a major factor in pushing otherwise devout Republican women to the Democratic ticket.