EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics held a conference call and webinar with EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock, WOMEN VOTE! Director Denise Feriozzi, and Democratic pollster Lisa Grove, and members of the press to announce new research into moderate, independent women voters in battleground states. The results confirm that a Republican agenda of attacking women’s rights is not only alienating women voters, it’s actively turning them against the party.
For this election cycle, EMILY’s List’s research focused on moderate, independent, women without college degrees. These findings are the first round of that work and the results of targeted online focus group discussions. The women surveyed made it clear they feel Washington is out of touch with their lives. They believe Congress is broken, ineffective, mired in obstructive partisanship – and the images they attached to that were largely male. They’re incensed at the intrusion on women’s health and believe the wrong issues are being prioritized.
And they are right.
“Women know that the Republicans in Congress just don’t get it,” said Schriock. “Women want to be talking about jobs, not birth control. The women EMILY’s List spoke to are clear about what they want. When they talk about new leadership, they’re talking about collaborators who understand their lives. And their descriptions line up strikingly with the candidates EMILY’s List is supporting this year.”
A consistent thread in the results of the research is that women understand the attacks on their rights are attacks on their most basic abilities to provide for their families. That is, women’s rights are the basic core of domestic policy. When the Republicans unveiled the Ryan plan women saw that as an attack on the priorities of supporting working women and families. When Republicans blocked equal pay laws that was seen as as affront to working families everywhere. Affordable contraception means women can control when they enter and exit the workplace and help plan for the expenses related to childbirth and care. All of these issues are economic issues and the Republicans desperately hope those pieces do not get put together.
So what might be the most interesting, and for Republicans damaging, conclusion from this latest survey is that moderate and independent women voters are uniformly concerned about the economy and the Republican efforts to undermine their ability to take care of their families. A candidate that can successfully tap into that connection, to clearly articulate and understand that women’s issues are all economic issues stands a very good chance come November.
Photo from League Of Women Voters California via flickr.