As Monday’s Iowa caucus approaches, many older women in Iowa, ardent supporters of Hillary Clinton, are growing concerned that Clinton will see a repeat of her defeat in the Hawkeye State to then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008 — only this time at the hands of another senator, Bernie Sanders. Sanders has successfully energized young liberals with promises of free college tuition and breakups of big Wall Street banks. In the closing days before Monday’s caucuses, Sanders’ crowds have routinely doubled or tripled Clinton’s, particularly in college towns. While Clinton’s campaign has tried to appeal to young voters as well, her most loyal supporters are proving to be cadre of older women who devotedly attend rallies, and are often heard joining in chants as they wait in the cold and snow to go through security checks. “Inspiration makes you get out and vote,” says one supporter, Patricia Hanick, 68. “But it doesn’t get the job done in the same way that the experience that she brings gets it done.”
If Sanders is able to repeat Obama’s success courting young voters and first-time caucus goers, Clinton will likely need to lean on women voters. In Clinton’s Iowa defeat to Obama in 2008, Obama won 35 percent of women voters compared to Clinton’s 30 percent. The latest poll from Quinnipiac University, released on Wednesday, showed Clinton leading Sanders among women and older voters in general.
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