The Republican establishment did not mince words earlier this year when it responded to election losses by determining to bring more women into the GOP fold. The Republican National Committee stressed its dedication to reaching out to women, part of its recipe for rebuilding the party in its election autopsy report released in March.
But rather than make progress with women, a new poll sponsored by National Journal shows the GOP has moved backward, with a plurality of women feeling that the Grand Old Party is moving away from them.
Among women polled, 33 percent said the party had moved further away from representing their views. Only 14 percent said the party had moved closer to their views. Within subgroups, the numbers were the worst among college-educated white women, a key Demographic in suburban areas, with 45 percent saying the Republican Party was moving away from them. This is a group that Republicans had made inroads with in 2012 while many of the women breaking for Democrats were minorities, namely African American and Latina voters.
Conducted on the eve of the current government shutdown, 59 percent said the GOP had shifted away from them by becoming “too conservative” while 33 percent said not conservative enough.
Women are key voters for both parties, and losing ground with them is a bad sign. In 2012, they made up the majority of voters (53 percent) and they broke for President Obama by 10 points, according to a Center for American Progress analysis of the exit polls.
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The RNC’s March report laid out a number of solutions to their “women” problem, including urging more Republican women to run for office, training Republicans on who to communicate with women, deploying more women surrogates, talking about “people and families” instead of just statistics, and using Women’s History Month to “remind voters of the Republican’s Party historical role in advancing the women’s rights movement.”
The United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll interviewed 1,005 adults between Sept. 25 and 29 and has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points, with higher margins for subgroups.