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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Talking about “women’s issues” used to mean talking about child care, education, and equal pay. These days, poll after poll shows that the top issues with female voters are the economy and jobs—not abortion, same-sex marriage, or contraception. More women than ever before are small business owners, and many are the breadwinners in their families. As the ones who are more likely to be paying the bills and making healthcare decisions, women are particularly concerned with the size, scope, and cost of government. Time to unveil a common-sense economic plan for reining in spending, simplifying the tax code, reducing the deficit, and reforming entitlements.

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