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Friday, October 28, 2016

Just days after Republican Ken Cuccinelli discovered that running as the transvaginal ultrasound candidate may have been a mistake in increasingly blue Virginia, three Republican women are launching a new effort to solve the GOP’s serious problem with female voters.

The Republican Party’s outreach to women — to the degree that it reaches out at all — has clearly not been working. Poll after poll shows that women favor the Democratic Party over the Republicans, and recent elections have confirmed it. President Obama topped Mitt Romney by 9 percent among women in 2012, and Terry McAuliffe beat Cuccinelli by an identical amount in Virginia in 2013. Among unmarried women, the gender gap is even more severe.

As Jonathan Martin reports in the New York Times, Republican consultants Katie Packer Gage, Ashley O’Connor and Christine Matthews hope to reverse the trend by launching a group called Burning Glass Consulting.

“We want to get smarter about how we communicate the Republican message specifically to women,” Gage told the Times. “Certainly there are challenges with other demographic groups, but women represent 53 percent of the electorate.”

According to the report, “The three strategists will undertake public opinion research, TV ads and general consulting for Republican candidates about how to better reach that majority.”

If this sounds familiar, it’s because the Republican Party has been down this road before. Just eight months ago, the Republican National Committee itself declared its intention to “stop talking to itself,” and improve outreach to minorities, the working class, and the same women that Burning Glass intends to target today.

“Instead of driving around in circles on an ideological cul-de-sac, we need a party whose brand of conservatism invites and inspires new people to visit us,” the Republican consultants who wrote the report optimistically suggested.

The suggestion didn’t take. On the contrary, Republicans have managed to move even further out of the mainstream — at a grave cost to their already tattered reputation.

Ultimately, Burning Glass Consultants will encounter the same problem the RNC did. Sure, a more moderate tone couldn’t hurt the Republican Party’s efforts to win over women — it may even help them on the margins. But there is no message fix that could paper over the fact that elected Republicans are devoting their efforts to shuttering women’s health clinics, restricting access to contraception, and trashing the Affordable Care Act’s maternity coverage, among a long, long list of other policies that are genuinely hostile to women.

Yes, the Republican Party would benefit if far-right candidates like Richard Mourdock would stop telling women that they can’t undergo an abortion after being raped, because “God intended” for them to be attacked. But the GOP would be even better off if that wasn’t the party’s official platform.

Burning Glass’ effort to attract female voters is surely well intentioned. But as Republicans are finding out in their unsuccessful push to attract Hispanic voters, actions speak louder than words.

Photo: WeNews via Flickr

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Bill Thompson

    Burning glass can try to change the message but they can’t change the mentality of the Neanderthals that run rampant the Republican Party. Oddly enough women are part of the Neanderthal mentality. Driven by both their religious beliefs and their worship of money. Separation of church and state is a concept that these people would like to eliminate. The politicians that speak like reverends, pastors and priests know exactly what they are doing and how they’re capable of controlling their flock. It is much easier to energize your base when faith and religion are involved. There is a new generation that are less likely to be lead in this way. The new pope understands this and is trying to move away from the incinerate language that has disillusioned many of the young. Time will tell but I do not think much will change.

    • highpckts

      Boy I hope so!!

    • ThomasBonsell

      Your mention of Neanderthal mentality strikes a note because genetic researchers have found that modern humans contain some Neanderthal DNA. It’s just possible that the level of Neanderthal DNA is higher in conservatives than it is in normal people.

      And their thinking is typical of the Republican Party that the message is the problem, not the policy.

  • Aaron_of_Portsmouth

    “Burning Glass” with a tiny match is a futile effort at best. I fear that will be the only source of heat this group will have to muster. Better use of time would be accomplished by setting a barn fire to all antiquated, anachronistic, and prejudiced notions and views no matter which partisan political group harbors them.
    Seems that one party already has a leg up on the others, but there’s still more burning to be done by all.

  • 1standlastword

    I will never understand nor can I believe in the existence of a reasonable argument why ANY woman would stand in support of misogynistic conservative policies against women.

    I think the women who attempt to win their sisters over to a hostile conservative agenda against all women are themselves demonstrating a clinical condition of self hatred.

  • Lovefacts

    The GOP’s attitude proves yet again their opinion of women–we’re stupid and easily led. WRONG! We remember not only how the GOP’s talking heads have and still refer to women. We won’t forget the legislation passed–federal & state–that:
    1. Narrows our opportunities–this includes their attempts to defund public education.
    2. Their refusal to pass equal pay for equal work.
    3. Their attempted blockage of the Violence Against Women Act
    4. Their attempts to strip women of their right to vote.
    5. Their continued attempts to deny women health care–including birth control.
    6. Their attempts to debase a woman needing an abortion.
    And the above are just a few of the GOP actions women of all ages will remember when we enter the voting booth. Republicans are fools if they truly believe women have short-term memories and if they talk enough, we’ll forget. We won’t forget. Their actions and inactions have impacted not only us but our daughters, granddaughters, sons, and so on in every aspect of our lives. No, it will be a long time before the majority of women trust anyone with an “R” beside their name when in the voting booth.

  • howa4x

    It is one thing to talk the talk and another to walk the walk. As long as one of the long legs of the republican party is comprised by evangelicals, and conservatives that think like them, these consultants will have no chance. Even Christie the fake moderate created by the press, closed down a large number of family planning clinics and defunded Planned Parenthood. He only won due to the cynical and corrupt democratic party here that didn’t support their own candidate and made a deal with him. The war on women is going on unabated in red states. It is almost like there was no autopsy of the GOP. It’s the base stupid! They are older whiter and very conservative. They want to re create the 1950’s where women knew their place, and they want to try to put the genie of the late 60’s back on the lamp. This is what the fuss is really about. As long as they try to do that all the consultants in the country won’t help them. How do you say we are banning contraception in a softer tone?