The Republican Party's "war on women" is one of the biggest political stories of the year. So are female GOP voters standing by their party? By Shushannah Walshe
Voter RegistrationIs the Republican Party antiwoman? In recent months, (mostly male) Republican pols have pushed for or passed numerous measures making it more difficult to get birth control and abortions. In Congress, Republicans lobbied to create a stricter definition of rape and to weaken the Violence Against Women Act, and opposed a bill addressing gender-based wage discrimination. High-profile Republican men have also made several off-key remarks about women, most notably, Rush Limbaugh's notorious comment that a Georgetown University student was a "slut" and a "prostitute."
Coming into the campaign season, Republicans already had a woman problem: In a 2011 Pew Research survey of registered female voters, 52 percent said they were Democrats and 40 percent said Republican. And as of May, President Obama appears to have a sizable lead among female voters, beating out Republican candidate Mitt Romney by 12 points among women in key battleground states, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll.
And they are. Retiring GOP Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine called recent debates about contraception a "retro-debate that took place in the 1950s." Alaska GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski expressed her frustration on a radio show: "If you don't feel this is an attack, you need to go home and talk to your wife and your daughters." And former GOP New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman tells
In the end, Hoover and others say the best solution may be electing more female Republicans who support reproductive rights. Says Candy Straight, the cochair of Republican Majority for Choice, "The party is too white male, and it's in its own cocoon."