Share

Opinion

Women to GOP: Get with the times

By |
Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Republican Party,Polls,Ashe Schow,Gender Issues

Women think the Republican Party is “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past,” according to a new report from the Karl Rove-backed Crossroads GPS and American Action Network.

The report, provided exclusively to Politico, shows that women by and large are turned off by GOP policies, especially women in the Northeast and Midwest. Not only that, but policies the GOP thought would be wins for the party among women, such as support for charter schools and offering women flexibility in the workplace, were “the least popular policies among female voters,” according to Politico.

It’s no surprise that Republicans have a problem connecting to women voters. What continues to be surprising is their tone-deafness toward the problem. AAN spokesman Dan Conston expressed as much when speaking to Politico about the report.

“The gender gap is hardly a new phenomenon, but nevertheless it’s important for conservatives to identify what policies best engage women, and our project found multiple opportunities,” Conston said. “It’s no surprise that conservatives have more work to do with women.”

Crossroads GPS spokesman Paul Lindsey agreed.

“There are a number of House policymakers and staff who have been willing to focus on issues important to women, and we think it’s important that they are aware of the policy solutions that are available to help address these concerns,” Lindsey told Politico.

So yes, they acknowledge the problem — but the GOP has been acknowledging this problem for years. Just last month, a panel of GOP women told an audience that the party needs to fix its messaging to women. And as Politico noted, Republicans also vowed to do a better job reaching out to women after losing the female vote in 2012 by a double-digit margin.

So, following this latest report about how the GOP is not popular with women, what will the party do to address the situation?

“The solutions offered include neutralizing Democratic attacks that the GOP doesn’t support ‘fairness’ for women; ‘deal honestly with any disagreement on abortion, then move to other issues’; and ‘pursue policy innovations that inspire women voters to give the GOP a ‘fresh look,” Politico wrote.

Basically the same fixes the GOP has been talking about for years with no indication of actual action.

The women most likely to support Republicans over Democrats are married women — whereas women in general view Republicans more unfavorably (49 percent) than Democrats (39 percent), married women prefer Republicans (48 percent) over Democrats (38 percent).

In 2012, Mitt Romney won married women by seven percentage points over President Obama. But that paled in comparison to Obama’s 36 percentage point win over Romney among unmarried women.

And the married woman vote alone won't be enough for the GOP to start winning presidential elections. The party is going to have to do a lot better than just talking about how they’re someday going to start reaching out to other women.

View article comments Leave a comment
Author:

Ashe Schow

Commentary Writer
The Washington Examiner

More from washingtonexaminer.com