Targeting suburban “Wal-Mart moms” in 2012 elections

Similar to the 2010 elections and echoing an analysis from November 2011, a commentator suggests the 2012 elections could be decided by suburban “Wal-Mart moms”:

Those voters most likely to remain undecided about their presidential preference are taking on a distinct profile, according to pollsters on both sides of the aisle: They’re suburban white women, between the ages of 35 and 55, who probably haven’t attained a college degree and who have kids under the age of 18. They very likely voted Democratic in 2008, then turned around and voted Republican two years later — if they voted at all. And polling and consumer research shows their focus is on their own household rather than national events…

Bratty and Margie Omero, a Democratic pollster, have extensively surveyed a group they call “Wal-Mart moms,” part of a clever campaign by the retail giant to associate itself with this year’s ultimate swing voter, similar to the oft-cited NASCAR dads of 2004, the soccer moms of 1996 or the hockey moms of 2008. The retailer has avoided getting too specific in terms of race, educational attainment, or geographic area — it defines the women as mothers who are registered to vote, have at least one child under 18 at home, and have shopped at Wal-Mart in the last month — but the group tracks closely with suburban, noncollege whites…

Consumer data backs up that sentiment. Wal-Mart moms are three times more likely than the average American to be interested in family or animated movies, dogs, and products like ketchup, frozen vegetables, and air fresheners, according to data collected by the consumer research firm Lotame. That indicates the women are the ones shopping for their families and are interested in saving pennies wherever they can. They are more interested in information on cruises, too, suggesting they’re eager to get away when their economic situation improves…

With such weighty economic situations on swing mothers’ minds, both pollsters say neither Obama’s nor Romney’s campaign has truly reached these voters yet. And both candidates face challenges in relating: Obama contends with a sense of disappointment that his first term hasn’t sped the economic recovery as much as they expected or that the recovery is leaving them behind. Romney contends with a growing sense that his business experience demonstrates he would favor the wealthy over the middle class.

For all of the talk about big money in elections, the American voter tends to be suburban and working/middle-class people looking for deals at places like Walmart.

One issue I have with analyses like these: they rarely give us the numbers to truly know the size of this group (how many Walmart moms are there really, particularly compared to other cleverly named demographic groups). Additionally, is this group distributed in such a way to really swing an election (in other words, are they located in sizable numbers in the swing states that matter)?

Might Target want to get in on this and start discussing “Target moms”? I assume these might be more educated, slightly more wealthy shoppers…

One thought on “Targeting suburban “Wal-Mart moms” in 2012 elections

  1. Pingback: Why Americans love suburbs #5: cars and driving | Legally Sociable

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