2008 Women’s Monitor Study –”From 18 to 80: Women on Politics and Society.”

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Press release here. Below are excerpts from the highlights:

• After Gen Y women, Senior women are Senator Obama’s next strongest generation: Obama leads Senator McCain by an incredible 30 points among Gen Y, 11 points among Seniors, 8 points among Gen X and 6 points among Boomers.
• Senior women: the opportunity target. Still, Obama’s greatest room for growth is among Senior women. They give him an 11 point advantage over McCain, but give a generic congressional Democrat a 27 point lead over the Republican. The 16 point gap between presidential performance and generic Democratic performance is larger than in other generations and offers Obama an opportunity to grow his already historic margin.
• Hope and Optimism vs. Safety and Security: The key thematic divide in the presidential race is the equal split between those women who are looking for a candidate who offers hope and optimism (supporting Obama by a 60 point margin) and those who are looking for a candidate who offers safety and security (supporting McCain by a 35 point margin). The women’s electorate divides exactly evenly among those who are looking for hope and optimism (38 percent) and safety and security (38 percent).

• Older women ISO news: Fifty (50) percent of both Boomers and Seniors say they actively seek out news about politics. Just 28 percent of Gen X and 26 percent of Gen Y are actively seeking news, with large majorities in the younger generations saying they are interested in politics, but not actively seeking information.

• Young women don’t take equality for granted. Seventy-seven (77) percent of Gen Y agrees that sexism is still a serious problem for women today, including 36 percent who agree strongly. Seventy-eight (78) percent of Gen Y agrees that there is still a need for a women’s movement that has a strong political voice, including 34 percent who agree strongly. Eighty-three (83) percent of Gen Y thinks it would be better if more women were elected to office, including 48 percent who agree strongly.
• Perceptions of workplace equality change with age. Just 32 percent of Seniors and 30 percent of Boomers think that women have equal opportunities and treatment in the work place. That figure rises to 41 percent among Gen X and 49 percent among Gen Y.
• Electing a woman president is now something women can imagine. In May, 2005 we asked how likely the U.S. was to elect a woman as president in the next ten years. Just 38 percent thought it was very (19 percent) or fairly (19 percent) likely. Now, 69 percent think it is very (44 percent) or fairly (25 percent) likely that we will elect a woman president in the next 20 years.

The complete report is here.

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