The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd began her Sunday op-ed on one topic before veering into “security mom” territory. “The so-called security moms, who have replaced soccer moms as a desirable demographic, are now flocking to Bush over Kerry, believing he can better protect their kids from scary terrorists,” Dowd wrote. “How did the president who has caused so much insecurity in the world become the hero of security moms?” she wondered.

Also on Sunday, NPR’s Juan Williams, appearing on Fox News, announced: “Right now, the key in this election is essentially white women. They’re looking for white women. And they’re trying to say to them, are you security moms or are you soccer moms? And for the moment, after the Republican Convention and after the attack in Russia, a lot of women, a lot of American women said, ‘I want my kids safe.’”

The recent examples go on and on — and, in fact, the term “security mom” has been kicked around in the press intermittently all campaign season long, falling in and out of fashion. The Houston Chronicle’s Julie Mason was an early adopter when, back in December, she identified “security moms” as “this year’s hot-button, swing voter demographic,” “a step beyond the soccer moms of earlier election seasons,” and “a threat to Democrats.”

But “security moms are not the whole picture,” Mason wrote all those months ago. “In key battleground states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida, women of all stripes are once again expected to be pivotal in choosing the next president.”

Perspective. It is among Campaign Desk’s favorite things.

Liz Cox Barrett

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.