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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Republicans can no longer deny that their party has a major problem with women. A new report, conducted by conservative groups Crossroads GPS and American Action Network, found that women are “barely receptive” to GOP policy, and view Republicans as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion,” and “stuck in the past.”

The report, titled “Republicans and Women Voters: Huge Challenges, Real Opportunities,” was presented earlier this month to senior aides in Washington and obtained by Politico. The results are based on eight focus groups across the country and a poll of 800 female voters. Politico describes it as “the most detailed illustration of the problem” so far.

“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,” American Action Network spokesman Dan Conston told Politico. “It’s no surprise that conservatives have more work to do with women.”

The study found that 49 percent of women see Republicans unfavorably, while only 39 percent view Democrats unfavorably. Republicans do “especially poorly” with women in the Northeast and Midwest, and “fail to speak to women in the different circumstances in which they live” (for example, many don’t understand that not all female voters are stay-at-home moms).

It also found that Democrats have an advantage when voters are asked which party “wants to make health care affordable,” “looks out for the interests of women,” and “is tolerant of other people’s lifestyles.” Women who care about the economy, health care, education, and jobs vote “overwhelmingly” for Democrats. Politico points out that even though Republicans say that jobs and the economy are their top priorities, Democrats have a 35-point advantage with women who care about jobs.

Republicans only have a 3-point advantage over Democrats when it comes to which party has “good ideas to grow the economy and create jobs,” and is “fiscally responsible and can be trusted with tax dollars.”

The only area where Republicans did overwhelmingly better than Democrats was among married women, who prefer the GOP 48 to 38 percent.

The report suggests that the GOP develop policies that are not “driven by a desire to aid employers or ‘the rich.’” Two policies that former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pitched as ways to attract female voters — increasing access to charter schools and supporting more flexible work schedules — polled as the least popular policies. But the survey found that women think an equal pay policy would “help [them] the most.” So it’s clear that Republicans will continue to pay a political price by doing things like unanimously rejecting an equal pay bill.

The report suggests that the GOP “neutralize” the attack that Republicans don’t support fairness for women, and criticize Democrats for “growing government programs that encourage dependency rather than opportunities to get ahead.” It also tells the GOP that it needs to “deal honestly with any disagreement on abortion, then move to other issues.” Finally, it suggests that lawmakers do the “unexpected” and promote job-training programs, speak out against “gender bias in the workplace,” and actually support “expanding home health care services” through Medicare.

It remains to be seen whether lawmakers will actually follow the report’s advice. Though Republicans are likely to do well in the midterm elections, their lack of female support will drastically hurt them in the 2016 elections, especially if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee.

AFP Photo/Michael Mathes

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  • TZToronto

    If Republicans are as ignorant and disbelieving about the results surveys as they are about climate change, then they’ll do nothing. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear them say that they, not some elitist survey, know what women want. And if they, somehow, decide to promote policies that women want, they risk losing their old-white-man base. I have little hope that the GOP will do the right thing for women.

    • S.J. Jolly

      “… decide to promote policies that women want, they risk losing their old-white-man base.” Which is the problem Romney had: How to get the support of 51% of the voting public without losing the support of the economic top 3%.

  • Dominick Vila

    Republicans do have a problem with female voters. They also have a problem with ethnic minorities, and just about anybody capable of rational thinking and an average memory.

    • sleepvark

      Yes, but they do quite well with the KKK, which would seem to be the model for their core constituency.

    • S.J. Jolly

      GOP policies are aimed at the GOP’s big fund donators: Rich old white Christian males. Concern for social wedge issues, such as abortion, traditional marriage, and a balanced budget, is displayed near election times, as window dressing. Complicating this is the need to keep the support of the Tea Party faction without letting the Tea Party radicals gain control of the party.

      • Faraday_Cat

        Rich, racist, old, intolerant, white, scared, “Christian” male misogynists…fixed it for you

        • S.J. Jolly

          You added some pepper to it. O.K.

      • Jake Hawkes

        You are so right….and it is really a shame that the Republicans have gone off the rails on the crazy train because many of their principles need to be well represented in the political zeitgeist.
        For example, do we really need 16 or 17 government organizations doing intelligence work? Smaller, more efficient government is a noble and important idea…but not supporting equal pay….well….is crazy.

    • Independent1

      Let’s hope that come November, they’re having problems with enough voter groups that they’re not able to take over control of the Senate.

      • Budjob

        Independent 1,The fact of the matter is,that Democrats outnumber Republicans by a very large margin.The problem is apathy and motivating people to get off their asses and,VOTE!!!

        • Independent1

          Unfortunately, that’s not true, that there are more Democrats than Republicans, which makes the problem even bigger. The percentage of people who identify themselves as Republican is about 37% while only around 23-24% identify themselves as Democrats. The remaining 40% or so are either Independents, such as myself, or are libertarians or are in some other minor parties or don’t affiliate with any party and more often than not don’t even vote. Even during the 2012 election there were around 100 million eligible voters in America who didn’t vote.

          That’s really a big shame and was especially true during the 2000 election when Gore beat Bush in the popular vote. In the 2000 election barely 50% of the eligible voters voted and clearly the majority that didn’t vote would have probably voted for Gore if they hadn’t sat out the election. Had these deadbeat voters made an effort to vote, the GOP partisan SCOTUS wouldn’t have been able to hand the election to Bush and America could well be a very different country today.

          • Budjob

            Independent1,FYI per the U.S. government ; As of 2014,there are 201.5 million people eligible to vote on November 2. 55 million are registered Republicans and,72 million are registered as Democrats.42 million are registered as independents. Thank You !

          • Independent1

            I think the statistics I’ve seen are percentage distributions of ‘LIKELY VOTERS”. Doesn’t do a lot of good to have millions of people registered as Democrats who NEVER VOTE; but I guess that makes your original point. We need to get all these registered democrats out to vote.

          • Budjob

            Independent1,You are absolutely correct with your analysis.That is also my complaint that,they won’t quit watching their big screen televisons or playing with their Iphones long enough to get off their lazy asses and vote.Bernie/Lizzie 2016 or,Lizzie/Bernie.It doesn’ matter as America and the American people would be the beneficiaries of said tandem.Happy Labor Day!!

          • Independent1

            We live on an island off the coast of Maine – there hasn’t been a cloud over our island all day long; it’s been an absolutely beautiful sunny Labor Day here with the temperature around 74. Hope you’ve had an equally nice Labor Day!!!

          • dpaano

            I would LOVE to see a Bernie/Lizzie combo in 2016; however, I’m afraid that if Hillary runs, it might cause the same problem we had with Perou. Unless they get overwhelming support from Democrats AND Independents, they might split the votes between themselves and Hillary, allowing a Republican to win (heaven forbid!!!).

  • Lynda Groom

    Gee ya think! They could have saved a lot of money by just giving me a call, but at least they created a few part-time jobs to gather the info.

  • ps0rjl

    Let’s face it the only demographic of women voters who support the GOP is basically Stepford wives. Even many married women are turned off by them. Don’t forget, some married women do have daughters.

  • howa4x

    In other words stop doubling down with the base and expand the constituent circle from older white men to everyone else. Women wants access to reproductive services something that the GOP opposes. Even if they could get the political lawmakers to start to change the rhetoric, who will shut up Limbaugh, Hannity, Huckabee, coulter, Palin on these issues, not to mention Blogs like Red state. Women are only one cohort that the GOP has problems with. How about Latinos, young people, Students, Environmental groups, LGBT communities, Asians and minorities, who all have been the targets of GOP ridicule and scorn. The GOP has a long road to travel to become competitive in a national election

    • Faraday_Cat

      Their problem is not the packaging the message comes in, though…it’s the message itself that is the problem. Until Republicans change the policies they put forth (and more importantly the actions it takes to make those policies happen), they will continue to alienate everyone other than the traditional base.

    • dpaano

      What’s really interesting is that most of the women that I know are anti-abortion; however, they are pro-choice. The explanation is that they may not choose abortion for themselves, but they don’t want to deny the choice to anyone else, which is as it should be. Unfortunately, the idiot GOP doesn’t seem to understand the concept!

  • Allan Richardson

    That term “encouraging dependency” always cracks me up. Are all poor people poor because they want to be “dependent” on others, or because the economy and the “free” market are manipulated in a way that prevents JOBS from paying enough to live on? Look at the advantages capital has over labor:
    (1) a corporate business can do as much “work” as its owners and managers wish, while a single individual person cannot work more than about 80 hours a week for very long, and still have time to be more than a human robot;
    (2) corporations employ thousands or millions of people, many to do the same kind of job, so the loss of one worker hurts them very little, while no natural person can work, as an employee, for more than three corporations, if that is allowed by their biggest employer, and losing one of three, not to mention one’s only job, is a terrible hardship;
    (3) tax laws allow corporations (and sole proprietorship businesses) to pay only on their NET profit, AFTER deducting any expenses even remotely connected to the business, while natural persons are taxed on their GROSS pay, less a specific list of deductions, which does NOT include all the actual expense types that a business can deduct:
    (a) companies can deduct the cost of transporting their products, but individuals CANNOT deduct the cost of transporting their “products” to the workplace
    (b) companies can deduct the cost of gifts, prizes, promotional premiums, etc. but individuals CANNOT deduct the cost of mandatory “gifts” to their bosses and co-workers that enable them to keep their jobs
    (3) companies can depreciate their durable equipment over time and thereby get a tax break on the cost of eventually replacing it; in the case of natural resources such as minerals, oil and gas, they can depreciate the cost of the land on which it is found, as that land inevitably runs out of the resource they are extracting and becomes worthless for that purpose, but humans cannot get a tax break on their bodies wearing out as they age and have fewer years left in which to work; nor are humans allowed to deduct, or depreciate, the cost of prosthetic devices and/or surgical procedures which enable them to earn more money at their jobs or obtain higher paying jobs (glasses for paperwork pushers and, at the other extreme, for professional drivers; prosthetic limbs allowing workers to pursue jobs requiring walking, running, etc; repairs of hernias for workers who lift packages; heart surgery to keep working at a faster pace, are some examples)

    So workers are inherently at a disadvantage when compared to packages of capital hiring many individual workers. And when many industries have become oligopolistic with regard to customers, and oligopsonistic with regard to both workers and small business suppliers, they have a market power that functions as a de facto governing body, but they have no more accountability than an individual person — less, in fact, than most, since they have much deeper pockets to lobby for the laws they like and hire lawyers to get around the ones they haven’t changed yet.

    So quit calling most of the poor “dependent by choice” and proposing eliminating the meager bit of help they do get so they will not “become dependent.” Does supplying insulin to keep a diabetic person alive CAUSE the “dependency” on insulin? Will cutting off the supply cause the diabetic’s body to become “self reliant” and resume making its own? The reason most people are poor is because they live in an economy in which hard work is NOT rewarded unless it comes with either exceptional skill in doing a job, or exceptional connections; and for most, the inability to earn enough to live on with their current skills also prevents them from PAYING for the schooling to improve their skills (and besides, if too many people learn to be engineers, there will be a glut of engineers on the market and engineers will have a hard time getting out of poverty). In other words, poverty is caused by INSUFFICIENT INCOME, which is largely set by the decisions of those who ALREADY have more than sufficient income, and WANT those others to be poor enough to be grateful for a job and not complain even when complaints are morally (or even legally) justified. The past winners are refereeing the game to make sure others cannot win.

  • dpaano

    IMO, the ONLY reason why married women seem to gravitate to the GOP is probably because their idiot husbands probably “brainwash” them to their own way of thinking rather than allowing them to think for themselves! I’m sure if the wife of a GOP votes Democrat, the doo-doo would hit the rotating blade big time!