Nation: Battle for the Bigger Half

Reagan challenges Carter's lead among women

It was Ronald Reagan's first press conference in a month, and his advisers were delighted at the results. The Republican not only cleanly fielded reporters' questions in Los Angeles, he made a headline-grabbing announcement. If elected, he said, "one of the first Supreme Court vacancies in my Administration will be filled by the most qualified woman I can find." With that, Reagan hoped to cut into President Jimmy Carter's current lead among women voters.

Apparently anticipating criticism from women with different viewpoints that this was a late-campaign gesture,...

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