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"Security Moms": An Edge For Bush?

Terrorism fears have a lot of women who often vote Democratic thinking twice

Jennifer Wallace Garner, a 32-year-old graphic designer and social liberal, didn't hesitate before voting for Al Gore in 2000. But the shock of the September 11 attacks and the birth of her first child earlier this year have led her to rethink her political priorities. "I think about a terrorist attack every day," says Garner, who works in Washington and lives in the Northern Virginia suburbs. "I'm not just thinking about myself anymore. I have my daughter, and I want her to grow up in a safe country." The result for Garner is something that was almost unthinkable three years ago: Unless the Democratic nominee makes a strong argument for a muscular national security policy, she might just vote to reelect President Bush.

Garner is far from the only mom whose political attitude has been altered by the war on terrorism. Married women with children -- many of them the so-called Soccer Moms who twice backed Bill Clinton -- have been drifting toward the GOP in the aftermath of the horrific September 11 attacks. That has led some pollsters to dub these largely suburban, socially progressive voters "Security Moms."