Palin Divides Women Voters, Even Her Closest Friends

Friends say they don't see eye-to-eye with Palin on certain political issues.


Sept. 8, 2008 — -- Sarah Palin's nomination for Republican vice president is dividing women voters, including some of her closest friends.

At least three of Palin's friends from Alaska told "Good Morning America" in an exclusive interview today that they weren't sure who they would vote for in the presidential election in November.

"I support Sarah as a friend, and I can't necessarily say who I'm going to vote for," Patti Ricker said. "I haven't made up my mind yet. And, you know, I don't know what's going to happen. But, you know, I am pro-choice and I don't agree with everything Sarah says either. But, again, I haven't ... committed to voting for anybody. I haven't decided yet."

The four women "GMA" spoke to are part of a group of friends that jokingly call themselves the "elite six." They got to know each other through aerobics classes, which included Palin.

"And we just kinda bonded and did our little workouts together, and after workouts, sometimes we'd go and have chocolate and coffee or soda," Juanita Fuller said.

While all the women "love" Palin, there are some issues they don't agree on, including abortion rights. Two of the women said they are for abortion rights, while Palin is staunchly against abortion rights. (One of the women, Juanita Fuller, told ABC News she was "pro-choice," but later clarified her position, saying she is opposed to abortion rights.)

Sandy Hoest said she did not support some of Palin's positions as governor of Alaska, such as her attempt to take polar bears off the endangered species list.

But Hoest said she's still undecided about the race. "I have never voted for a Republican for president. And this may be the first time I vote Republican for president. I'm real excited to see the debates and make up my mind. But … I'm not committed."

Fuller is the only one of the women who said she is definitely voting for the McCain-Palin ticket.

"And I didn't really agree with a lot of John McCain until he brought her on. Because I knew that she would help our nation go forward. She would help us in ways that would make us a better country," Fuller said.

Women Trust Sarah Palin

Friend Amy Hansen said voting is a private matter, so she wouldn't reveal how she would vote, but she did say that in her opinion, Palin is different from other politicians.

"Well, the thing I know about Sarah is that she's honest as the day is long. And that is a unique personality trait from a lot of a politicians these days," Hansen said. "And I trust her."

The women said they rarely talk politics as a group with Palin, but they all agreed that their political views don't stand in the way of friendship.

"We're a diverse bunch," Hoest said.

Ricker added, "And that's America right there -- diverse."

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