RMC Responds: Being Strong, Conservative and a Woman Need Not be an OxymoronPosted: November 1, 2013
Yesterday, we shared a great graphic from the Center for American Women in Politics about the political representation of women in the U.S.. These profound (and certainly scary!) statistics generated some great conversation on our Facebook page. One commenter said, “These numbers are terribly low. With women now out-earning men for college and masters degrees (women earn 60 percent of higher educational degrees), we are the most highly educated gender and should have at least half if not more, 60% of the congressional and gubernatorial seats in this country. We are letting the minority population run the majority… I hope we see this trend shift very soon, and I think that we will.“
We share these hopes and concerns! In the 2012 elections, women made up 54 percent of the voting bloc, and they overwhelmingly threw their support behind President Obama, resulting in the largest gender gap since Gallup Poll first began tracking such data in 1952. After facing this harsh reality, the Republican National Committee conducted extensive survey research and released plans and data intending to recapture this influential demographic. In March of this year, the Republican National Committee released a report that urged “drastic changes to almost every major element of the modern Republican Party” — including its messaging on reproductive health issues and the way it appeals to women. The report stated, “Many female voters feel that Washington, D.C., is a city full of politicians that simply don’t listen and don’t understand what their daily lives are like.” However this report discussed potential changes in talking points but said very little about altering their political agenda in a way that would positively affect the Party’s position with women, as well as the country as a whole. For example, the report noted that Republicans lost the “war on women” messaging battle in 2012, but it did not offer any substantive policy solutions that would combat this message style. As a result, the “war on women” tactic has continued throughout the year, and extremist politicians have managed to stay in the spotlight by making absurd comments about women’s health. (for some examples, check out our regular “Horse’s Mouth” feature).
Now, a full year later, recent polls reveal only 14 percent of women believe the Republican Party has moved closer to their perspective and 33 percent feel the party has drifted farther away. And, in a time when both parties are vying for the support (and donations) of Millennials (the 18-34 age bracket), 45 percent among that group said the Republican Party is now further from their views.
But we are not the only people to stand up and take note of this gender disparity. This week, CNN reported that the Democratic Party is hoping to capitalize on its edge with female voters. During the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum, held in Washington, D.C. this week, Vice President Joe Biden argued that some extremist conservatives are impeding progress for women and the U.S. in general.” Biden continued saying Democratic majority in the House is “the single most important thing … we can do for our collective agenda,” adding, “Everything you worked for and the progress we have made is literally in jeopardy if we lose seats in the Senate and if we don’t gain seats in the House.” These comments truly reveal the importance of Republican Majority for Choice in engaging and elevating women’s voices within the Party. And we need your continued support both to recruit and elect strong, commonsense conservative women to Congress, and to speak out to Party leaders who still do not understand that their social extremism and partisan pandering are keeping the focus off of the real economic issues that women and families care about. If you haven’t already, make a contribution to RMC today, become a member, and ensure that we can remain a strong voice for all American women.