Smart girls to host a ‘women-only’ presidential straw poll this weekend

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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This weekend, two women’s activist organizations — Smart Girl Politics and VOICES of Conservative Women — will co-host what they believe to be the first women-only presidential straw poll.

The poll will be held during Smart Girl Politics’ third annual Smart Girl Summit, which will take place this weekend in St. Louis, Mo. The event is set to feature a long list of speakers, including presidential hopefuls Herman Cain and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter.

The group is primarily online, and it uses new media tools in its activist training. “We do have that whole new media aspect to it,” said Teri Christoph, co-founder of Smart Girl Politics. “We don’t have an office — we have a Twitter account; we have a Facebook account.”

The Smart Girl Summit is merely one example of how social media has empowered women to be more politically involved. In recent years, women have been gaining political clout online – especially through blogs and social media, writes blogger and former political strategist Joanne Bamberger in her new book, “Mothers of Intention,” which is a textbook-style compilation of women’s blog entries interspersed with her commentary on the advent of women in new media.

“Networking sites and blogs are the tools that allow like-minded mothers to find each other, organize, campaign, and participate more easily than ever before,” writes Bamberger, who is better known as “PunditMom” in the blogosphere.

“The new world of online media, social media, blogs and virtual communities has brought like-minded women closer together than ever before,” she adds.

Bamberger, who is liberal, also mentions Smart Girl Politics in her book as an example of a group “on the conservative side of the political aisle” that uses online tools to further its goals.

Smart Girl Politics is promoting its quickly approaching summit on Twitter and Facebook, and Christoph said she is anticipating the summit’s concurrent women’s straw poll.

“We do want to get that demographic and see what they’re thinking,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what the results are.”

Matt K. Lewis