Five Ways the GOP Can Woo Women

In every presidential election since 1964, more women have voted than men. In the last few presidential elections, voter turnout rates for women have equaled or exceeded voter rates for men in nearly every age group; in fact, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, in 2008 nearly 10 million more women than men cast their ballots in the presidential race. Republicans can’t afford to ignore the women’s vote, which now constitutes 53 percent of the electorate.

Exit polls from Super Tuesday voting showed that one fifth of the those who voted in Ohio were working women; in Virginia, married women made up a third of the electorate. In Oklahoma, more than half of voters were female. Many women consider themselves independent voters. In the 2010 elections, the Pew Research Center found that among female independent likely voters, the GOP held a 43 percent to 40 percent edge over Democrats. There’s an opportunity here for the GOP: If Republicans want to continue picking up as many seats as they did in 2010, they need to focus on winning the independent women’s vote, too, not just die-hard Republicans.

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Denounce Rush Limbaugh

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Sandra Fluke testified in favor of mandating that religious institutions provide free contraception to employees, a position most of us on the right disagreed with, and was vilified on the air by Limbaugh for wanting to be “paid for having sex.” The fallout is still continuing among his advertisers and listeners. It’s not too late for the Republican leadership to say that calling a young woman a “slut” and a “prostitute” because she disagrees with a conservative position is more than just a poor choice of words, or inappropriate language, or “not the words I would have chosen.” It insults women and it’s wrong. Republicans need to make it clear that Limbaugh doesn’t speak for the rest of us.

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