Meet The New Soccer Moms, Same As The Old Soccer Moms

Here we have Reuters rolling out a strange bit of a election analysis: “Insight: Wal-Mart moms – The election pollsters’ new favorites.” I love that leading bit — “insight.” You know, just in case you needed a neon sign there to let you know that this is something you hadn’t thought of before! But in this case you probably did:

Laura Bartlett doesn’t think of herself as the key to the 2012 elections. She’s a bank employee, mother of two and budding comedian with the troupe Four Funny Females. And honestly, she couldn’t care less about politics.

But that doesn’t mean pollsters aren’t keenly interested in what she’s thinking and feeling. After all, she’s in the heart of a demographic that’s been the subject of some recent political research: The Wal-Mart Mom.

The Dallas resident is more bemused than anything else. “I really don’t know what to think,” says the 44-year-old, who hits up her local Wal-Mart for groceries. “Maybe I should feel special, like I’m being courted. By the way, if any pollster wants to pay my Wal-Mart tab, that would be nice. I can definitely be bought.”

She can definitely be bought! What a cut up. Is this an audience or an oil painting? Waka, waka! Seriously, though, folks buying votes is illegal. </rimshot>.

And this story is such a rehashed piece of political analysis, it ought to be illegal as well. “Recent political research”? “Election pollsters’ new favorites”? Let’s skip ahead a few paragraphs: “Indeed, the Wal-Mart Mom might just be updated packaging for that critical Soccer Mom demographic.” No ass kabobs, Sherlock.

Yes, we know mothers can be influential when it comes time for the family to make economic or political decisions. Call me crazy, but I find it slightly patronizing and annoying when political analysts somehow rediscover this fact every election cycle. I’ll know mothers are given the respect they deserve when this, ahem, insight is dealt with as an obvious fact, rather than treated as a perpetual novelty.

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