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Women's crossover votes for Clinton will surprise GOP

Clinton strategist Mark Penn says swing voters hold the key to '08 success.

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Mark Penn, chief strategist for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, was the guest at a Monitor breakfast October 18. Mr. Penn offered the 45 reporters at the event a tour of the political horizon along with a plug or two for his new book "Microtrends." Later Thursday, the Republican National Committee and Barack Obama's campaign issued rebuttals of various points made by the sartorially rumpled but incisive and articulate Penn. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On the emotional impact of a woman presidential candidate:

"I think there is also an emotional element here of having the first women president. One of the poll findings highlighted in [a document he distributed] is that 94 percent of younger women say that they are more likely to come out and vote if there is a woman on the ballot for president.... I think you will see a tremendous influx into the political process of women who weren't as politically oriented because of that. And I think you see this emotional connection in the way, if you go to Hillary's rallies, in the way ... people either bring their daughters very often [or] in Florida they bring their moms. There is an intergenerational connection."

On the impact of a woman presidential candidate on Republicans:


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