There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Despite my prediction earlier this week that the War on Women narrative would backfire and the GOP would increase its margin of the female vote, the election was a disaster when it came to women.
Romney did almost no better with women than John McCain did in 2008. He did approximately the same with married women (a core constituency for Republicans), and Obama once again had a landslide victory with unmarried women.
Sadly, the GOP lost all the gains on this front that it made during the 2010 midterm elections, when Republicans managed to close the gender gap and elect a slew of strong, conservative female lawmakers to the House, the Senate, and state legislatures.
Conservatives shy away from playing gender politics — which is a good thing — but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to think seriously about how to talk to women.
It’s certainly our goal at the Independent Women’s Forum to reach women about how limited government, personal responsibility, and free markets will actually give them more freedom, more choice, more opportunity, and more security.
The bottom line is that conservatives — and, by extension. Republicans — have a great message, but it’s not reaching voters. As Adam Schaeffer wrote (above) there is a giant need for more experimentation; but Republicans have to develop a respect for organizing and turnout efforts comparable to the Democrats’.
In the end, we need to get out there and talk face-to-face to women and make it clear that Liberty Is No War on Women.
— Sabrina Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum and co-author of Liberty Is No War on Women.