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March 17 2014

Women Voters: How Will They Perform in the Midterms?

Charlotte Hays

We’re in demand. Or as a headline on a story in today’s Wall Street Journal puts it:

In Demand: Women Voters

With their signature health care reform in shambles and the economy far from robust, the Democrats are pinning their midterm hopes on one segment of the population: women. The Journal writes:  

Since drawing a challenge from a top Republican recruit two weeks ago, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado has fixated on one particular slice of the electorate, promoting himself as champion of equal pay, abortion rights and affordable child care.

"Empowering women = key to our nation's success," he recently wrote on Twitter.

Women, according to polls cited in the story, would prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats, a glimmer of hope for Democrats in an otherwise inhospitable electoral landscape. 

Mostly, it is single women who, whether they are bringing up children on their own or simply supporting ourselves, find big government appealing. It has been the challenge of the IWF from its inception to present an argument to these women that government dependence is most destructive and costly to the very people big government claims to help.

Limited government and free-market advocates, however, have thus far not managed by and large to persuade single women that big government programs may look good but ultimately end up being harmful to their interests (see: ObamaCare).   

I urge you to read the Wall Street Journal’s report on how the Democrats are going after women voters.

But the story falls down on its promise: there is very little on how the GOP is supposedly fighting back.

The story quotes a few Republicans, including a representative of RedState Women, a Texas PAC. Whoopdedoo.

And this:

In another sign of the pushback, three female Republican operatives, including two advisers to 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, opened what they say is the first GOP political consulting firm aimed at appealing to women voters.

Mr. Romney's director of advertising, Ashley O'Connor, said the Obama campaign's attack ads focusing on abortion rights and Planned Parenthood had hit Mr. Romney hard, especially because they landed before he had been formally nominated by his party and couldn't yet dip into his general election funds.

"Women were willing to give the president the benefit of the doubt in 2012, but I think the landscape has shifted because of Obamacare," Ms. O'Connor said.

Frankly, to me, that sounds more like Republicans sitting back rather than pushing back.

Do they still not get it?

PS. I highly recommend IWF’s “Women in the Wilderness” panel, held in the wake of the 2012 presidential campaign. It would be a good place for clueless Republicans to start, if, that is, they are serious about talking to women.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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