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The Wal-Mart Sisterhood

Why lower-middle-class white women could be key to the Democratic nominationand victory in the fall
Lobb, with sons in Bangor, Pa., says: "Things have gotten really hard"
Lobb, with sons in Bangor, Pa., says: "Things have gotten really hard" Bill Cramer/Wonderful Machine

It's a sunny morning in early April, and as she does every week, Lisa Lobb has driven 15 miles to load up on groceries at the Wal-Mart Supercenter outside of Bethlehem, Pa. Sure, there are plenty of stores closer to home, but with rising gas and food costs gobbling up ever more of her budget, the 36-year-old mother of four makes the drive for Wal-Mart (WMT) Stores' low prices.

As she piles bags into the trunk of her Chevy Impala, Lobb pulls out an envelope to show off her system for squeezing the most out of every buck. On the back, she jots down the full week's menus; on the front, she lists all the ingredients; and stuffed inside are coupons to save a few cents more. "Things have gotten really hard," she says. "You start to wonder sometimes how you can keep going."