The White House reported today that First Lady Rosalynn Carter called "several legislators" in Virginia this morning to lobby for ratificiation of the Equal Rights Amendment, but no one could be found here who received a call.
The 40-member Virginia Senate failed yesterday to ratify the ERA when only 20 senators voted for it, one short of the required 21.
In the aftermath of the defeat, it was rumored here and confirmed by the White House that Mrs. Carter was working to change votes. Any one of the 18 senators, including 14 Democrats, who voted against ratification could move to have the issue reconsidered as late as on Monday.
Mrs. Carter recently was credited with reversing a similar vote in the Indiana Senate by calling a wavering legislator. Indiana became the 35th state to ratify the amendment, which would bar discrimination based on sex. Three more states must ratify the proposal by March 22, 1979 to make it part of the U.S. Constitution.
Of the 14 Democrats who voted against ERA in the Virginia Senate, only three were considered by other legislators to be potential switches if Mrs. Carter subjected them to friendly persuasion. All three said in interviews late today that they had not been called by the First Lady.