Vive la Différence! Rule #6: Men Do Not Equal a Majority. How women defeated them in 31 of 40 NC statewide races since 2000; why women are the GOP’s best hope for political longevity.

by johndavis, February 14, 2013

Vive la Différence! Rule #6: Men Do Not Equal a Majority. How women defeated them in 31 of 40 NC statewide races since 2000; why women are the GOP’s best hope for political longevity.   “The next time a Republican man wants to say something about a gender-sensitive issue, like rape or contraception or reproductive
[More…]

Vive la Différence! Rule #6: Men Do Not Equal a Majority. How women defeated them in 31 of 40 NC statewide races since 2000; why women are the GOP’s best hope for political longevity.

 

“The next time a Republican man wants to say something about a gender-sensitive issue, like rape or contraception or reproductive rights, he should test his views over the intercom system at the nearest Target. Anytime between 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm; when working women shop.

    John Davis Political Report, February 14, 2013

Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013             Vol. VI, No. 6             12:13 am EST

What better day to write about the relationship between women and men in politics. Valentine’s Day.

It’s the one day each year when the hostilities cease between those from Mars and those from Venus. The annual truce called so that we can safely go to Target to shop for that perfect Hallmark card. The one that says what we would say if we were stronger.

On Valentine’s Day, getting the words right is so important. In politics, getting the words right is important every day.

In 2012, Republicans lost two U.S. Senate races because the men didn’t get the words right when talking about gender sensitive issues like rape and abortion. One stated that a woman could not get pregnant if she was raped “legitimately.” The other suggested that rape just may be God’s will.

Karen Hughes, Counselor to President George W. Bush, had this to say to POLITICO after the 2012 elections: “If another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue. The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of 'legitimate rape.’”

Two U.S. Senate races lost because the men didn’t get the words right. Neanderthal comments.

A presidential election lost because women were not persuaded that the Republican nominee was interested in their needs; that he supported government programs that would simplify their lives.

Texas Republican U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, one of the most seasoned political leaders and respected women in America, said in a post-Election Day interview with CNN’s Starting Point, “When we talk about women’s issues and the social issues, people have to stop acting like the woman is a throw-away here. We’ve got to talk to women about the issues they care about.”

Making ends meet during the worst economic recession since The Great Depression. Diversity of circumstances. Diversity celebrated. Not merely tolerated.

This report is the continuation of a series highlighting key rules for How the North Carolina Republican Party Can Maintain Political Power for 114 Years (like their predecessors the Democrats). The rules highlighted thus far are:

  • Rule #1: Always remember that you are vulnerable
  • Rule #2: Criminal indictments scare off contributors
  • Rule #3: Keep your voters close, and your metropolitan voters closer
  • Rule #4: Caring must be at the core of conservatism
  • Rule #5: Lose the courts, lose the war

Today, I am adding Rule #6: Men do not equal a majority. How women defeated them in 31 of 40 North Carolina statewide races since 2000; why women are the GOP’s best hope for longevity.

NC Women Cast 485,606 More Votes than Men in 2012

Nationally, women accounted for 53% of all votes cast in 2012.  Here in North Carolina, 55% of all voters in 2012 were women. According to the NC State Board of Elections:

  • Registered women number 3,452,498 on NC’s voter roles; men number 2,899,554
  • In 2012, 69.7% of women voters turned out to vote; men 66.8%
  • Women cast 2,488,973 votes in 2012 (55%); men cast 2,003,367 (45%)
  • Women cast 485,606 more votes than men in 2012

According to Gallup, women voted for Obama over Romney by 12 points; men voted for Romney over Obama by 8 points, creating a 20-point gender gap. That 20-point gap “is the largest Gallup has measured in a presidential election since it began compiling the vote by major subgroups in 1952.”

More politically significant than the gender gap is the marriage gap. Married women historically favor Republicans; single women favor Democrats.

In 2008, married women supported the Republican presidential nominee John McCain by 6 points, 53% to 47%; single women supported Obama by 32 points, 66% to 34%. “That provided him with a comfortable margin of victory,” notes John Zogby, veteran pollster and pundit, writing in Forbes.

In 2012, married women supported Mitt Romney by 6 points, 53% to 47%; single women supported Obama by 36 points, 68% to 32%. That’s a 42-point marriage gap.

Ruy Teixeira, noted political demographer with the Center for American Progress, estimates that unmarried women now represent 47% percent of all American women, up from 38% in 1970.

It’s no wonder Fox News commentators blamed Romney’s defeat on single women. They were right.

Women. Binders full of women. Legitimate rape. Getting the words right. Single women.

If you want to get the words right, go to Target not Talbots

So, how do you get the words right? Go to Target. Not Talbots.

Only women who can afford to shop at Talbots go to Talbots. However, those who can afford to shop at Talbots also shop at Target, along with every other women’s demographic from age and education to family status. Single and married women with and without children; women with high school diplomas and those with university degrees; shop clerks and judges. Liberals shopping with conservatives. Target.

Karen Katz, CEO of Neiman Marcus, said in an interview with Fast Company, that her favorite non-Neiman’s place to shop was Target. "I say it without any embarrassment: I love Target. They have a really beautiful way of blending inexpensive fashion with housewares and laundry detergent.”

In September 2012, a study by Insights in Marketing revealed which of 58 brands are doing the best job of marketing to women. Target was #3 of 58, just behind Dove and Amazon.

Why do women love Target? Because Target’s design strategy is to satisfy the needs of their guests, simplify their lives, make them feel great, at an affordable price for all. All women.

Should Republicans adopt a similar approach to rebranding the party for women voters? Satisfying needs? Simplifying lives? Making all women feel welcome?

The next time a Republican man wants to say something about a gender-sensitive issue, like rape or contraception or reproductive rights, he should test his views over the intercom system at the nearest Target. Anytime between 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm; when working women shop.

Odds are he will quickly conclude that his time at Target could be better spent … like at the greeting card aisle getting his sweetheart a Valentine’s Day card.

2012 a Historic Political Year for Women

 Since election year 2000, there have been 40 statewide races in North Carolina that came down to a female candidate running against a male candidate in the General Election. Women won 31 of them, including the 6 of the 7 General Election races in 2012 between a woman and a man.

Here is the list of all statewide General Election races in North Carolina since 2008 where women candidates defeated men.

Governor 2008

Beverly Perdue (D) v. Pat McCrory (R)

Auditor 2008

Beth Wood (D) v. Les Merritt (R)

Secretary of State 2008

Elaine Marshall (D) v. Jack Sawyer (R)

 Superintendent of Public Instruction 2008

June Atkinson (D) v. Richard Morgan (R)

Treasurer 2008

Janet Cowell (D) v. Bill Daughtridge (R)

Court of Appeals Judge 2008

Linda Stephens (D) v. Dan Barrett (R)

Cheri Beasley (D) v. Doug McCullough (R)

Supreme Court Justice 2010

Robert Hunter (D) v. Barbara Jackson (R) 

Court of Appeals Judge 2010

Martha Geer (D) v. Dean Poirier (R)

Secretary of State 2012

Elaine Marshall (D) v. Ed Goodwin (R)

Treasurer 2012

Janet Cowell (D) v. Steve Royal (R)

 Superintendent of Public Instruction 2012

June Atkinson (D) v. John Tedesco (R)

Commissioner of Labor 2012

John Brooks (D) v. Cherie Berry (R)

Court of Appeals Judge 2012

Linda McGee (D) v. David Robinson (R)

Wanda Bryant (D) v. Marty McGee (R)

Betsy Cochrane, from Clemmons, North Carolina, former GOP state Senator and first Republican woman to serve as Minority Leader (1985-1986), told me in an interview 10 years ago, “The biggest problem facing Republican women today is Republican men.” It’s still a big problem.

The problem? Republican men see women as a constituency to be patronized for political gain, a voting bloc to be exploited for conservative causes. That’s why they can’t get the words right.

Without the right words, Republicans will stagnate. Without the right words, most young women in America will never feel welcomed in the Republican Party. Threatened by conservative group think.

Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman and host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” participated on a panel on the future of conservatism at the National Review Institute summit last month.  He said “everybody’s afraid to talk” about new ideas because of 30 years of top down conservative group think.

Peggy Noonan, speech writer for President Reagan and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, noted in her column about the National Review Institute event, that the “panel on the future of conservatism was smart and provocative, but it was composed of six men, no women.”

The next time Republican leaders are meeting privately about policy decisions, count the women in the room. That’s how you get the words right. And, if there is any doubt, try the intercom at Target.

Rule #6: Men do not equal a majority. How women defeated them in 31 of 40 North Carolina statewide races since 2000; why women are the GOP’s best hope for longevity.

Vive la Différence! And, Happy Valentine’s Day!

- END -

 Thank You for Reading the John Davis Political Report!

 JND SignatureJohn N. Davis, Editor

 

If you are not a subscriber, please consider subscribing.  The Premium Annual Subscription is $245.  Mail your check to John Davis Political Report, P.O. Box 30714, Raleigh, NC, 27622, or subscribe online at www.johndavisconsulting.com/subscribe  JND

P.S.:  Need a speaker?  Inquire about availability here  JND

 

Comments are closed.