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A detailed report commissioned by two major Republican groups — including one backed by Karl Rove — paints a dismal picture for Republicans, concluding female voters view the party as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.”
The only real surprise here is that Republicans bothered to actually check what women think of them. Republicans do have an edge among married women, but otherwise, it's tough going for them, issue by issue:
When female voters are asked who “wants to make health care more affordable,” Democrats have a 39 percent advantage, and a 40 percent advantage on who “looks out for the interests of women.” Democrats have a 39 percent advantage when it comes to who “is tolerant of other people’s lifestyles.”
Female voters who care about the top four issues — the economy, health care, education and jobs — vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Most striking, Democrats hold a 35-point advantage with female voters who care about jobs and a 26 percent advantage when asked which party is willing to compromise. House Republicans say jobs and the economy are their top priorities.
Whatever House Republicans say about jobs and the economy being their top priorities, it sure seems like women who care about jobs and the economy see right through that.
The GOP answer to their deficit with women on the issues is dishonesty: First, claim that Republicans totally support fairness for women even if they don't support actual equal pay legislation. But before they ask exactly how Republicans are going to promote fairness, distract women from the discrimination they face from above by getting them to blame other women who are struggling, accusing Democrats of "growing government programs that encourage dependency rather than opportunities to get ahead." In short, it's "welfare queen" talk under another name. Second, acknowledge disagreements about abortion and then change the subject real fast. Third, try to find a few economic issues where Republicans can make it sound like their policies provide answers—talk about job training and the like, as if being trained for jobs is a good answer to anything when there are no jobs.
Republicans will likely appear to do better with women in 2014 than in 2012, thanks to base Republican voters being more likely than base Democratic voters to turn out in midterms. But thanks to issues like Hobby Lobby, Democrats are looking much stronger with women voters than they did in 2010, so Republicans have cause to be worried. And 2016? They have cause to be f'ing terrified.
Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 07:42 AM PDT.