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Engage, Disrupt, Win: How Republicans Can 'Finally' Win Women Voters

Apr 29 2014, 7:18am CDT | by

Younger women are still breaking for Democrats. A recent WSJ/NBC News poll found 46 percent of women ages 18-49 feel “positive” toward the president, and 52 percent of these women say they would...

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13 weeks ago

Engage, Disrupt, Win: How Republicans Can 'Finally' Win Women Voters

Apr 29 2014, 7:18am CDT | by

Younger women are still breaking for Democrats. A recent WSJ/NBC News poll found 46 percent of women ages 18-49 feel “positive” toward the president, and 52 percent of these women say they would favor Democrats this fall over Republicans.

This is no surprise. The GOP has done almost nothing to systematically engage with women voters since the 2012 election. Aside from a handful of female lawmakers who have been vocal on issues like the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” and an occasional cocktail reception to talk about how Republicans should start talking to women, there hasn’t been a concerted effort to connect, communicate, and win those unmarried female voters that favored the president by 36-points in 2012.

The first step for Republicans is to stop the hemorrhaging – that is to make a concerted effort to fight back and neutralize Democrats’ ongoing campaign to convince women the GOP is inherently sexist. Only then can they begin to rebuild a coalition of women who understand and value limited government.

But doing this first requires the GOP goes back to basics.

A central tenet of political behavior research is that public opinion can be massively influenced by elite discourse, especially if elite opinion is all coming from one side. Voters form their opinions about everything from health care policy to foreign affairs, in part, based on cues from trusted political actors, or from more engaged friends and family who notice these signals and pieces of information from elites and adopt them as their own.

One way of looking at this is that voters construct most of their political opinions based on what’s being discussed at that particular time, and are, in effect, “at the top of their head.” The perspective a voter heard that morning on the news or at a dinner party the night before can determine her opinion on complicated issues like the “wage gap” or the “Paycheck Fairness Act.”

In the best of times for conservatives, the flow of information is relatively balanced, with partisans on both sides putting forth arguments and considerations while rejecting the other side. In John Zaller’s famous book The Nature and Origin of Mass Opinion, however, he notes that huge shifts in opinion, across the political spectrum, can occur if the flow of political communication becomes one-sided.

And this is exactly the case currently when it comes to the political conversation about “women’s issues” – we’re in a one-sided information environment. Because for too long, the conversation about the workplace, health care, even dating and marriage has been almost entirely directed by liberal women’s groups and representatives, with little or if any response from the Right.

Case in point: the faulty “wage gap” statistic. As the 2012 election revealed, it has become commonplace for voters to accept the mythical “wage gap” statistic – that women only make 77-cents for every dollar a man makes – and Republicans are therefore paralyzed by how to respond to a demand for workplace legislation like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act or the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act.

But we know that when people receive a competing argument, it’s disrupting. Voters hearing new information begin to question their previous understanding of these issues, and are more likely to seek out more, new information.

University of Michigan professor Ted Brader has devoted a lot of attention to understanding the impact of political ads. What we know is that on balance positive ads do little to move voters; rather they polarize voters along existing partisan preferences. Negative ads on the other hand– and not just mudslinging but ads with information – can change behavior because they cause voters to seek out new information.

Experimental research the Independent Women’s Voice conducted in our effort to respond effectively to the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) and “War on Women” reconfirms this theory. IWV conducted a double-blind, randomized, controlled experiment in which respondents received either one of four treatment messages control group to test the impact those messages had on their views of a range of different issues, from the PFA to ObamaCare to perceptions of fairness.

On its own, the Progressive argument in favor of the PFA generated overwhelming support (90 percent) for the proposed law. Yet when respondents also read an anti-PFA economic message, stressing the negative impact of the legislation of women’s economic opportunity, support decreased dramatically by 38 points (90 to 52 percent) and opposition rose 26 points, from 5 to 30 percent.

This puts into sharp relief why conservatives and Republicans must respond to issues like the PFA and the War on Women more broadly. If Republicans have any hope of winning women, they have to start by offering another voice. Not by hosting a happy hour; not by trotting out a high-profile female lawmaker to give a speech; and not for “14 weeks” in the lead up to an election.

Winning women requires a conversation that aggressively makes the conservative case for why our policy ideas are better for women and America. Only then will women consider an alternative idea, seek out new information, and reject the “War on Women” status quo.

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was br ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Min ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in th ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of RM ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar S ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kidex) toda ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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