Editors' pick: Originally published Feb. 5.
Hillary Clinton, champion of women's issues like equal pay and the right to choose, is, unbelievably, losing among younger women to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. And there's a good reason why.
Clinton never mentioned the word "women" during her debate Thursday with Sanders.
That's a conspicuous omission, considering Clinton's history working on women's issues -- and that women comprise more than half of the electorate, that there are a host economic issues particular to women, especially young millennial women. It's particularly noteworthy given that in Democratic primaries that have large blocs of minority voters, South Carolina for example, women comprise more than 60% of the electorate. Nationally, women account for about 55% of Democratic primary voters.
Thus far in the 2016 presidential campaign, millennial women, those aged 18 to 34, are by-passing Clinton for the Vermont senator's message of economic populism. In Iowa, Sanders all but obliterated Clinton among voters ages 17 to 29 by 70 percentage points, according to NBCNews exit polls. (The gap narrows to 21% among those 30 to 44).
If Clinton is to cut into Sanders's support among women under 30, she needs to emphasize issues that arguably defined her political career, says Anna Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a Democratic strategist and public opinion research firm. That equates to equal pay, family leave, flexible workplace scheduling and affordable childcare that uniquely confront women, especially older millennials who may have already started a family, have a job and are seeking ways to balance the two.