Are You a Mortgage Mom Instead?

Following up on its piece on how the “security moms”-moms concerned about terrorism-who helped push the GOP victories in 2002 and 2004 may be leaning Democratic now, the Washington Post today reports on the political label of the moment: “mortgage mom.”

What’s a mortgage mom? That would be “voters whose sense of well-being is freighted with anxiety about their families’ financial squeeze.”

Even as the GOP makes plans to make security issues its major focus in the remaining weeks that Congress is in session, Democrats are betting that economic fears will trump those relating to terrorism.Among the statistics brandished: that the inflation-adjusted median hourly wage of most workers fell by two percent since 2003 according to the Department of Labor, that the annual inflation rate has exceeded four percent for three consecutive months, and that household debt is rising. In particular, the ratio of financial obligations, mostly mortgage and consumer debt, to disposable personal income rose to 18.7 percent earlier this year, the highest level in modern times, notes the Post.

The folks that are most at risk are those who have adjustable rate mortgages. Next year millions of homeowners nationwide will need to refinance home loans if they took out adjustable rate mortgages, some $1 trillion worth of which are scheduled to readjust next year. Colorado already leads the nation in foreclosures.

Meanwhile, hot-off-the-press statistics from Consumer Federation of America senior researcher Patrick Woodall show that women in Colorado were 31 percent more likely than men to receive high interest subprime loans when purchasing a home in 2005. Subprime loans are associated with higher rates of foreclosure. In Colorado, about one out of five mortgage loans for the purchase of homes were subprime loans.

So what will happen come November? Have security moms mutated into mortgage moms? Will they make a difference in hotly contested races such as Colorado’s CD-7 race between Democrat Ed Perlmutter and Republican Rick O’Donnell? I would poll myself but I doubt that would be reliable. Maybe that’s because if I were to label myself I’d be more inclined toward adjectives such as “messy,” “frazzled,” and “tired” than I would toward those that pollsters seem to favor.

[crossposted at Muckraking Mom]