Do Republican Candidates Care About Women Voters?

Mon, November 26, 2007


As we are now counting the days to the primaries and caucuses in January, I’m assuming (hoping? praying?) that voters will become more focused on the candidates, both Democratic and Republican, and where they stand on the issues that are most important to them.

As you can probably guess from reading my posts, I tend to lean just a teensy little bit to the left in my politics!

I’ve paid a lot of attention to where the Democrats stand on issues that impact women, regardless of the political affiliation of those women — work/family balance, the Family and Medical Leave Act, Roe v. Wade, child care, and health care for mothers and children, just to a name a few.

So, in fairness, I thought I should take a quick tour of some of the candidates’ official websites to see what they’ve chosen to highlight in terms of issues that would resonate with women voters.

And I have to say, I was shocked. At least from what they’ve got on their sites, it seems like the Republicans aren’t very interested in women. Granted, all issues are, in one way or another, women’s issues. But I’m looking for something specific about the ones we tend to deal with a lot more than our husbands, partners and significant others.

As for the Democrats, they all have places on their websites to address the so-called “women’s issues.” John Edwards has his Promise for American Women. Chris Dodd wrote the Family and Medical Leave Act. Hillary Clinton is calling herself a “Champion for Women.” Joe Biden has a whole section on his website called “Empowering Women to Take Charge.”

So I assumed that the GOP candidates would have similar topics on their sites.

I’m still looking.

Sure, they’ve included those buzz words “family” and “life,” but the main focus is on the war and the economy. Of course those are incredibly important issues, but since women voters are the acknowledged key to the election this political season, wouldn’t you think that a few of them would devote a little web space to explaining their positions on helping women, and families, solve the practical problems we all face in our lives? And where do they stand on another important agenda item — children??

Are they just not thinking about us?

Mike Huckabee talks about “Faith and Politics” and “The Sanctity of Life,” but I don’t see a mention of working moms and the challenges we face.

Mitt Romney places “Defeating the Jihadists” above most other issues on his site, but I didn’t see anything about the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Rudy Giuliani? John McCain? Fred Thompson? None have a separate agenda item on their sites about women, as the Democrats do.

So what’s that all about? I’m sure somewhere in a speech or written release, the Republican candidates have uttered some words on this topic. But why have they left that information off their websites — the best and easiest place for a voter to get the information they’re looking for?

Republicans, if you want some of us women to vote for you (sorry, it won’t be me, but I know they’re out there), maybe you should spend a little time thinking about what’s important to women voters and what you have to say about the issues we deal with pretty much every day.

Presidential candidates — even though you may think otherwise, this election isn’t all about you.

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14 Responses to “Do Republican Candidates Care About Women Voters?”

  1. Professor J Says:

    This makes perfect sense to me. Family values–but to heck with the women.

  2. Julie Pippert Says:

    Why do you think I am not a Republican.


    It’s true: their agendas leave no space for empowering or endorsing women and their main causes.

    You can’t take away rights with one hand and support with the other.

    But kudos to you for keeping an open mind and looking!

    Using My Words

  3. BOSSY Says:

    Oh, what a cracked assortment.

  4. Lawyer Mama Says:

    That’s pretty sad.

  5. Mary Says:

    That’s certainly a revealing Republican perusal. I shouldn’t be commenting off the cuff (but since I am) I vaguely remember something in The New York Times about the ‘soccer mom’ losing her punch– in other words, the ‘soccer mom’ as an identifiable and influential voter category has disappeared. The piece I (vaguely) remember reading asked either what this disappearance meant for women or what it meant for the election, as candidates like to have a clear voter category to court. Regardless, I wonder if ‘soccer mom’ somehow — sadly — equated women in general. The soccer mom demographic seems to have dried up (what? kids are in baseball or college?) and now the women are out of the picture. This is extraordinarily depressing because the soccer mom narrative was so insipid, portraying a woman entirely without complex brain cell wiring and very narrow, usually domestic, concerns. So without that harmless, powerless woman – we get nothing? Hmmmm. . . .

  6. Gunfighter Says:


    The Republicans are courting a different sort of woman. The woman who is terrified. The woman that is looking for protection, that is looking for some security.

    No, not from domestic violence, but from terrorism. Basically, that’s all that the GOP has right now. That’s it.

    If they can convince the soccer mom vote (which has morphed into the “security mom” vote) that they and their children are safer with the GOP it’s a winner.

    I know some of them. They want to hear that their kids will be safe (and are dumb enough to believe that a politician can actually make that happen). They want to be reassured that their kids can go to schools with high test scores (as if that means something… and it doesn’t).

    It’s a hard core effort at what I call “the Donna Reed” vote. White women from the affluent suburbs.

    I don’t think it will work next year… but who knows, those same people voted for GWB, in ’04

  7. jen Says:

    oh AMEN. it’s not even illusive anymore, this blatant arrogance and disrespect.

  8. dana Says:

    Sadly, the GOP could give a shit less about women. It sickens me. I’m a Republican because of one particular issue, but as far as women go, the right seems to ignore us. It’s a shame really.

  9. Maddy Says:

    I heard a very interesting programme [radio] about how women got the vote out here in the first place.

    It seems that we’re still very much at the bottom of the heap.

  10. whatsername Says:

    Well of course they don’t value women. They base their stupid platforms on “traditional family values.” What that really means is openly patriarchal and in some ways misogynistic values. Women don’t come into the equation.

  11. Alex Elliot Says:

    Why am I not surprised. Hey, do you by chance have the links to the Republican sites you looked at?

  12. Mauigirl Says:

    They only care about unborn babies, not the mothers. And they only care about discriminating against gay couples, not about how to help working families raise their kids. And they only care about money, first and foremost.

  13. whatsername Says:

    Hey Alex, why not show us some links showing how they do care about women and women’s issues?

  14. Michelle Says:

    Oh, but don’t forget that “abortion is bad for women”. So all the family values talk really is about women. How *they* view women. Little delicate creatures that need protecting from the big, bad world.

    Just had a baby? You shouldn’t be out in that horrible old world trying to work, you silly goose! Daycare is a filthy, rotten pool of germs and the source of what’s wrong in this country, silly woman!

    Where’s your husband in all of this? Don’t have one? Don’t you know that you’re not supposed to give birth without one?

    Oh, sure. They are thinking about women constantly. How they can keep them on a short chain that extends from the bed to the stove to the maternity ward. With no stops at the abortion clinic or the career they had before becoming breeding machines for the next generation of submitted wives.

    It’s the fifties all over again.

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