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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This midterm election, women from both parties say they are energized to head to the polls.
This is the first time Tamara Levenson filled all 51 seats on a Democratic campaign bus to canvass neighborhoods. Levenson credits the #MeToo movement for motivating a wave of new volunteers. The majority of them are women. “People have been feeling powerless, people have been feeling frustrated, people have been feeling angry,” Levenson said.
Lorin Ruttenberg is among the volunteers door-knocking in the Antelope Valley, a Republican district 60 miles north of Los Angeles. The goal is to increase voter turnout and target those on the fence. Ruttenberg said “I felt the need to do something since every time I watch the news I get depressed.”
Volunteers knocked on the Wagners’ door. The Wagners lean right politically, but they encourage everyone to make their voices heard. “It’s important for us to vote anytime we have an opportunity,” John Wagner said.
Volunteers are canvassing different districts every week hoping their work makes a difference at the polls.
Jane Junn, Professor of Political Science and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California, said “women voters are the most important voters in American politics today.” Professor Junn is expecting record numbers this year. “The attention to issues around gender and abuse has activated women on both sides,” Professor Junn said.
According to Rutgers’ Center for American Women and Politics, women have been outvoting men by about 10-million votes for more than a decade. Professor Junn said female voters will be the deciding factor in close races.