As The GOP Has Worked To Appeal To Female Voters, It’s Actually Been Losing Women’s Support


Since the 2012 election, the Republican Party has been attempting to broaden its traditionally white, male base in an attempt to appeal to more women and more people of color. Even top Republican strategists have conceded that the GOP doesn’t have “enough women at the table” to make sure that it’s effectively marketing itself to female voters, and post-election polling confirmed that Mitt Romney suffered because his stance on women’s health issues alienated key voting blocs.

So, almost exactly a year after the 2012 election results inspired this effort, how’s it going? At least according to one new survey, not very well.

A new poll from the National Journal and United Technologies finds that Republicans’ rebranding efforts “show no sign of working.” Only 14 percent of women say that the GOP has moved closer to their perspective. And more than twice that number, 33 percent, say that the GOP has actually moved further away from what they believe.

When broken down specifically by younger women, even fewer say they’ve been won over by the Republican makeover. Among women under the age of 50, just 11 percent said that the GOP had successfully moved closer to their views, while 29 percent said it’s moved further away:

gop women's support

CREDIT: United Technologies/National Journal

Of the women who don’t believe the GOP represent their views, 59 percent said it was because the Republican Party has become “too conservative.”

Indeed, even as GOP officials claim they want to better appeal to female voters, Republican lawmakers have continued to pursue right-wing policies that undercut women’s health.

For instance, even after abortion opponents in Congress incited considerable controversy over their callous statements about rape victims and abortion access, legislators continued to propose abortion restrictions that don’t include any rape exceptions. Making matters worse, several of those new anti-choice provisions have recently been signed in completely male-dominated company. Many Republicans continue to attack Planned Parenthood at every turn, despite the widespread support that the national organization enjoys. And just last week, in negotiations to agree on a continuing resolution to fund the government, House Republicans voted to roll back women’s birth control access.

When members of the Republican Party attempt to diverge from the GOP’s traditionally conservative positions on women’s health, they’re often quickly shut down. Earlier this week, Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) wife Anita suggested that abortion is a “woman’s right” and appeared to support women’s decision to opt for the legal procedure. But her husband quickly intervened to say she didn’t really mean it, dismissing her comments and claiming she simply stuck “the wrong word in the wrong place.”