Married women with children, the "security moms" whose concerns about terrorism made them an essential part of Republican victories in 2002 and 2004, are taking flight from GOP politicians this year in ways that appear likely to provide a major boost for Democrats in the midterm elections, according to polls and interviews.
This critical group of swing voters -- who are an especially significant factor in many of the most competitive suburban districts on which control of Congress will hinge -- is more inclined to vote Democratic than at any point since Sept. 11, 2001, according to data compiled for The Washington Post by the Pew Research Center.
Disaffection with President Bush, the Iraq war, and other concerns such as rising gasoline prices and economic anxiety are proving more powerful in shaping voter attitudes.
If these poll numbers hold up, the GOP may be in real trouble in the coming elections.
Not in the House of Representatives, where gerrymandering has created safe seats for both parties in all but a handful of districts--as Ronald Reagan observed in the bad old days of the Evil Empire, there was more turnover in the Supreme Soviet than in the US House of Representatives--but in Senate and statewide races, this is bad news for Republicans.