What are Independent women voters in key battleground states thinking? Our WOMEN VOTE! Research will tell you
By Alison McQuade on
July 11, 2012
Last month, we introduced our first findings of our 2012 WOMEN VOTE! Research, where we learned that women do not believe Washington is working for families like theirs. And now, we‘re back with more research that we think you’ll find fascinating.
This is a survey of 950 likely independent female voters in 13 of EMILY’s List battleground states: Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
Throughout this whole election cycle, we’ve heard a lot about how much women’s votes will matter. And it’s true. In 2008, women were 53% of all voters. And since women don’t vote as one predictable entity, it’s important for candidates to connect with them on as many levels as they can.
So what did we learn? A lot, actually. Among this sample of women:
- Obama holds an 8-point lead, garnering 48% of the vote to Mitt Romney’s 40%
- Democrats have a 7-point lead in a generic trial race for Congress
- Congressional Democrats get significantly more credit than the GOP on economic issues, such as holding millionaires and billionaires accountable for paying their fair share and for working to build an economy that works for the middle class.
- 71% of these women stated that the GOP attempt to block the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act is a convincing reason not to vote Republican
- 69% of these women find the Ryan Budget’s cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, housing, and education as a convincing reason to not vote for Republicans.
- Retirement security, including Medicare, and the need for affordable health care top the list of these women’s of concerns. And young women! They cite retirement security in surprisingly high numbers.
- Democratic candidates are described as more likely to protect a women’s right to make her own health care choices free from government intrusion—including birth control.
Moreover, there is a double-digit advantage for Democrats on understanding how hard it is for struggling families to makes ends meet, lowering health care costs and building an economy that works for the middle class. While Republicans, by double-digit margins, are seen as supporting “politics that only benefit the rich and big corporations,” being “too willing to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits,” and being “out of touch.”
What does all this research jargon mean? Women are very concerned about policies that affect jobs, finances, retirement, health care, education. And they’re seeing Democrats (and especially women candidates!) as the elected officials who will fight for policies that support them and their families.
More specifically, these women said they’re looking for a different kind of candidate. They’re interested electing folks who give back to the community: veterans (Tammy Duckworth! Tulsi Gabbard!), police chiefs (Val Demings!), social workers (Kyrsten Sinema!), nurses (Lois Capps!), and mothers (Kirsten Gillibrand, Annie Kuster! Elizabeth Warren!)
“In these tough economic times, independent women voters want candidates who will focus on putting them back to work, support equal pay, and protect vital programs like Medicare and Social Security,” said Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY’s List. “The Propro-choice, Democratic women who EMILY’s List supports are exactly the kinds of candidates these voters are looking for – veterans, police chiefs, mothers, and community leaders who will fight for middle class families instead of creating partisan gridlock.”
There is increasing evidence (Paul Ryan’s Budget, Blunt Amendment, the War on Women, tax cuts for billionaires, opposition to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, opposition to Affordable Care Act and so on and so on) that Republicans’ priorities are completely unaligned with those of this key female demographic.
This is a savvy group of women. They’re paying attention, and they’re looking out for their families. That’s why it’s so important for EMILY’s List to be able to reach them with messages that resonate with them and ensure they make it to the voting booth in November. Their votes will make a difference – possibly the difference.
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