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Sunday, April 13, 2008

White women begin to turn away from Clinton

By David Lightman | McClatchy Newspapers

LEVITTOWN, Pa. — Like many women over 50, Paula Houwen was eager to vote for Hillary Clinton for president.

"I was impressed when she was first lady. She wasn't the country's trophy wife," the 56-year-old suburban Philadelphia pharmacist recalled.

Today, though, Houwen's no longer a Clinton fan.

"I do not like the way Hillary Clinton has run her campaign," she said.

Clinton's strongest core of support — white women — is beginning to erode in Pennsylvania, the site of the critical April 22 Democratic presidential primary, and a loss here could effectively end her White House run.

A Quinnipiac University survey taken April 3-6 in Pennsylvania found that Clinton's support fell 6 percentage points in a week among white women. Nationally, a Lifetime Networks poll of women found that 26 percent said they liked Clinton less now than in January, while only 15 percent said they liked her more.

"These are Democratic women who waited all their lives for a woman president, but Hillary is not turning them on," said polling analyst Clay Richards.

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