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presented by:
Christine Matthews
September, 2015
RESEARCH
OF WOMEN VOTERS
IN KEY BATTLEGROUND STATES
www.burningglassconsu...
›  In late June, we surveyed a total of 1,200 women voters
in four key states (300 per state): Colorado, New
Hampshire, O...
¡  The Republican brand is perceived as dated. The party and elected
officials are seen as failing to keep pace with chan...
¡  There is a sense that “c-suite” Republicans don’t understand average
people’s lives in any way: what they have to do t...
¡  Women aren’t hearing Republicans talk about many of the things
they care about: making college more affordable, pre-K ...
¡  While Democrats have gotten out front on some key issues –
college, equal pay, child care, pre K – their War on Women ...
Issue Handling R-D Top Priority
Creating jobs and a strong economy -6 43%
Health care affordability and availability -22 3...
Republicans want to repeal Obamacare and Democrats
want to keep the Affordable Care Act the way it is. No one
seems to be ...
Immigration
On immigration, Hillary Clinton supports a path to
citizenship for undocumented immigrants in this
country.  
...
Immigration
›  Securing the border is a top priority.
›  As we learned in our 2014 panel, women have mixed views
on this...
›  College affordability is a huge concern that women aren’t
hearing Republicans address.
›  Women said Democrats have t...
›  We explored college affordability in our focus groups.
Nothing animated these women like this topic.
›  They understa...
Do you prefer the Republican or the Democratic approach
when it comes to combating the terrorist group ISIS?
Total CO NH O...
Now, I’d like to talk about some ideas and proposals
Republicans have. Please tell me if this proposal would
make you more...
Now, I’d like to talk about some ideas and proposals
Republicans have. Please tell me if this proposal would
make you more...
›  73% Favorable
The government should provide tax credits to businesses
that contribute to childcare expenses and provid...
›  68% Favorable
The government should provide tax credits to businesses who hire
and train women who have been out of th...
Democrats say Republicans are waging a war on women by
limiting their reproductive choices, getting involved in their
pers...
›  Many women - and most Republican women – reject
the idea of a “war on women.” We have learned that
this is more of a p...
Republican women elected officials feel frustrated
that their party is perceived as anti-women. Aside
from electing more w...
Key Points:
›  Republican women don’t think the party is anti-woman. They
think a biased and liberal media trumps it up.
...
Regardless of how you may actually vote, if you
were giving advice to a Republican candidate on
how they could appeal to s...
Key Points:
›  Stop focusing on social issues like abortion. Women
should make their own choices. Stop moralizing.
›  Th...
Perceptions of Democrats from our focus groups
›  Diverse. Reflective of the country. Represents
all.
›  For middle clas...
Perceptions of Republicans from our focus groups
›  Conservative. Traditional. Not in touch. Haven’t kept
up with the tim...
“Old white guys”
A number of you said the Republican party was full
of “old white guys.” How can the Republican party
chan...
“Old White Guys”
›  For me it's 20% who republicans are (old, white guys)
and 80% what they support. What needs to
change...
“Old White Guys”
›  Republicans are too far to the right.  This nation has
changed a great deal in the past 40-50 years. ...
“Old White Guys”
›  I think the "old white guy" perception is synonymous with
"wealthy C-level men that do not understand...
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Research of Women Voters in Key Battleground States

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Burning Glass Consulting - Research of Women Voters in Key Battleground States

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Research of Women Voters in Key Battleground States

  1. 1. presented by: Christine Matthews September, 2015 RESEARCH OF WOMEN VOTERS IN KEY BATTLEGROUND STATES www.burningglassconsulting.com
  2. 2. ›  In late June, we surveyed a total of 1,200 women voters in four key states (300 per state): Colorado, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia. ›  In July, we conducted six focus groups with two groups per location, in: Ashburn, Virginia, Columbus, Ohio and, Manchester, New Hampshire ›  In each location, we held one group with college educated women and one group with women under 40. ›  Following the in-person groups, we engaged in a 2 day online follow-up discussion with these women. ›  In September, we conducted a survey of 500 women in battleground states and focus groups in Northern Virginia to study the Planned Parenthood controversy. Methodology
  3. 3. ¡  The Republican brand is perceived as dated. The party and elected officials are seen as failing to keep pace with change and the reality of the modern world. “1950s attitudes” ¡  When Republicans focus on restricting abortion, it turns many of these women off. Being pro-life isn’t the problem, necessarily, and many are in agreement with later abortion restrictions, but to make this a priority – over other issues – is where the women have problems. They want Republicans to trust women to make decisions and to stop legislating morality. Few think abortion rights will be over-turned, so feel it’s safe to vote for pro life candidates that they don’t think are extreme. ¡  The recent focus on defunding Planned Parenthood is very risky and likely to alienate swing or soft Republican women. They would support an investigation, but none of the women in our focus groups said – even after watching videos – that the organization should be defunded. www.BurningGlassConsulting.com 3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  4. 4. ¡  There is a sense that “c-suite” Republicans don’t understand average people’s lives in any way: what they have to do to make ends meet or pay down college bills or how bad things can happen to good people which then requires assistance and understanding, not judgement. “Walk in my shoes for a change.” ¡  The deficit for Republicans on issues like improving workplace policies for women or addressing college affordability was stark, but presents an opportunity. A top rated policy proposal was to give tax credits to businesses who contribute to child care expenses or provide paid leave. ¡  Equal pay came up a lot when asked how Republican candidates could appeal to women. It is unclear to what extent they think Republicans don’t support or advocate for this. www.BurningGlassConsulting.com 4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  5. 5. ¡  Women aren’t hearing Republicans talk about many of the things they care about: making college more affordable, pre-K for all, finding a way to pay for child care costs, and making health care more affordable, but not just repealing Obamacare. ¡  Republican women messengers who talked about shared values or demonstrated a compassionate and solutions-oriented approach rated very high with women. ¡  Having messengers that don’t look or talk like the stereotypical Republican makes these women pay attention. ¡  Right now, these women most associate Sarah Palin as the archetypal Republican woman. www.BurningGlassConsulting.com 5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  6. 6. ¡  While Democrats have gotten out front on some key issues – college, equal pay, child care, pre K – their War on Women theme is seen as a little tired and, as we saw in 2014, its power may be waning. These women don’t want either party focusing exclusively on abortion/birth control. ¡  There is no love for Hillary Clinton with these women. In fact, we were surprised in our focus groups to see several Bernie Sanders supporters who like his vision for the middle class. ¡  Non college educated women, older women, stay at home moms are aligned with Republicans. Our biggest challenges are with women under 35, non white women, and college educated women who are most inclined to believe the “war on women” themes. www.BurningGlassConsulting.com 6 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  7. 7. Issue Handling R-D Top Priority Creating jobs and a strong economy -6 43% Health care affordability and availability -22 38% Keeping our nation safe and secure 11 31% Improving K-12 education -17 28% Using tax dollars wisely 2 11% Managing immigration issues -4 11% Helping seniors -17 10% Addressing college affordability -26 10% Reproductive issues and abortion -23 9% Improving workplace policies for women -30 6% Policies impacting single mothers -36 2% When you think of the following issues, which party does a better job in terms of ideas and policies? Issue advantage Survey Question
  8. 8. Republicans want to repeal Obamacare and Democrats want to keep the Affordable Care Act the way it is. No one seems to be in the middle. If both parties staked out these positions, how will this impact your decision in 2016? ›  The issue is less important for those who have private, employment based coverage. For those who don’t, this is a key voting issue. ›  These women want the middle ground that doesn’t exist in political dialogue. They prefer not to repeal the existing law, but make some changes, particularly around cost and affordability. ›  You can’t replace something with nothing. The key is to show a viable GOP alternative that includes pre-existing conditions and expanded coverage at a more affordable price with more personal choice – such as whether or not to have insurance. ›  Outside the GOP base, the “repeal Obamacare” rhetoric falls short. In 2014, swing women grew tired of “repeal Obamacare” which they found unrealistic. The women in this survey want a fix, not repeal. Health Care Key Points: Online Follow-up Question
  9. 9. Immigration On immigration, Hillary Clinton supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in this country.   All the Republican candidates say we need to secure the border but have differences of opinion about what to do with undocumented immigrants here.   Some say they should be required to go back to their country of origin, others say they should earn legal status, but not citizenship, after a series of steps and penalties while others might consider an earned path to citizenship after multiple steps and penalties.   Which approach do you favor?  Is this a top voting issue for you or just one of many you consider? Online Follow-up Question
  10. 10. Immigration ›  Securing the border is a top priority. ›  As we learned in our 2014 panel, women have mixed views on this. Younger women favor Democrats on this issue, but women over 35 are more conservative. Overall, women tend to support an earned path to legal status, but they emphasize that it needs to be earned, not given. There is some underlying resentment about undocumented immigrants getting entitlements or privileges when they have to play by the rules and work for everything. ›  The parties are at near parity on managing this issue. ›  Mass deportation is viewed as ridiculous. If Republicans nominate someone with a practical plan to deal with undocumented immigrants via a lengthy and earned path to legal status, this issue is unlikely to alienate these women. Key Points:
  11. 11. ›  College affordability is a huge concern that women aren’t hearing Republicans address. ›  Women said Democrats have the advantage on this issue because they haven’t even heard Republicans talking about it. Right now Democrats own this issue because we’re not in the game. ›  Controlling college costs was the the top policy proposal for independent women. ›  We can’t talk about the middle class, opportunity and rising up without addressing the impossibly high cost of a college education and how paying for it is preventing people from getting ahead for years after graduation. College Affordability Key Points:
  12. 12. ›  We explored college affordability in our focus groups. Nothing animated these women like this topic. ›  They understand that the root problem is college costs: tuition hikes, expensive student centers and amenities, tenured professors getting huge salaries when teaching assistants on barely more than minimum wage are the ones teaching classes. There is a sense of misplaced priorities in higher education spending. ›  A Republican approach focused on seriously containing costs or providing more affordable, flexible college degrees is very appealing. The Democrats’ focus on relieving student loan debt isn’t seen as getting to the root problem, although those with debt welcome any help they can get. In our 2014 panel research, the women preferred a solution that gets to the root problem: costs. College Affordability Key Points:
  13. 13. Do you prefer the Republican or the Democratic approach when it comes to combating the terrorist group ISIS? Total CO NH OH VA 36% 39% 31% 38% 36% The Republican approach 26% 23% 26% 29% 25% The Democratic approach 38% 38% 44% 33% 39% Don’t know +10 +16 +5 +9 +11 How important will combatting terrorism be when you decide which candidate to support for president? Total CO NH OH VA 28% 29% 26% 29% 27% Top 1 or 2 on my list 48% 46% 54% 47% 44% One of many important 19% 21% 15% 21% 20% Not as important 30% of women supporting a Democrat said it could be a reason they vote Republican. However, national security is far more important to GOP women than independent or Democratic women. National Security Survey Question
  14. 14. Now, I’d like to talk about some ideas and proposals Republicans have. Please tell me if this proposal would make you more favorable, less favorable or have no impact. 35   38   40   39   43   43   33   30   28   30   27   30   Family  Friendly  Workplace  Act   Lower   college   loan   rates,   freeze   tuiCon,   stake   in   default.   Biz  tax  credit  for  hiring  re-­‐entering  women.   Reform  college  degree,  lower  costs.   Universal  Pre  K   Biz  tax  credit  for  paid  leave/child  care  contribuCon.   Much   Somewhat   70   More  Favorable   Favorability to Proposals 73 69 68 68 68 Survey Question
  15. 15. Now, I’d like to talk about some ideas and proposals Republicans have. Please tell me if this proposal would make you more favorable, less favorable or have no impact. 27   36   36   32   38   26   18   20   25   22   Earned  Income  Tax  Credit   Over  the  counter  birth  control   AnC  Common  Core,  standardized  tests   School  choice   Reform  Obamacare   Much   Somewhat   More  Favorable   Favorability to Proposals 60 57 56 54 53 Survey Question
  16. 16. ›  73% Favorable The government should provide tax credits to businesses that contribute to childcare expenses and provide paid maternity or parental leave. ›  70% Favorable Every child under the age of 5 should have access to high quality Pre-K so they can arrive at kindergarten ready to learn. ›  69% Favorable College is simply not affordable for many people and costs continue to rise. Higher education or technical training should be available at a fraction of the current cost by reforming how you get a degree to include more online courses and credits for life and work experiences. Wording: Top Proposals
  17. 17. ›  68% Favorable The government should provide tax credits to businesses who hire and train women who have been out of the workforce to care for family. ›  68% Favorable Increasing the amount available for student loans isn’t the answer when the core problem is out of control college costs. Government should push for lower interest rates on student loans and give incentives to colleges who freeze tuition and cut their internal costs, while requiring them to pay back some of the student loan debt their students default on. ›  68% Favorable Current labor laws prohibit employers from offering comp time to hourly workers. The Family Friendly and Workplace Flexibility Act would help hourly workers balance family and work demands by allowing them to work with employers to pick the option that works best for them overtime pay or flex or comp time. Wording: Top Proposals
  18. 18. Democrats say Republicans are waging a war on women by limiting their reproductive choices, getting involved in their personal lives, and opposing policies that would make equal pay more of a reality. Republicans say their policies of limited government and economic opportunity benefit all women and Democrats focus relentlessly on the so-called war on women to the exclusion of all other issues that are more relevant to the day- to-day lives of women. Total CO NH OH VA Independents 44% 43% 47% 46% 41% 38% Democrats 39% 42% 34% 41% 37% 34% Republicans 17% 15% 19% 13% 22% 29% Don’t Know -5 -1 -13 -5 -4 -4 War on Women Survey Question
  19. 19. ›  Many women - and most Republican women – reject the idea of a “war on women.” We have learned that this is more of a political phrase than a real world term. ›  Republicans do have vulnerabilities on being seen as going too far right – being too intrusive in women’s health issues, but, as one woman in Manchester said, “unless they’re super conservative, like Scott Walker, I will give them a pass.” ›  Most don’t see abortion as being made illegal so many will say that other issues are more important to them: jobs, education, health care affordability. ›  The challenge for Republicans is to “win” on those important economic issues by talking about them in ways that are fresh, relevant and compelling. War on Women Key Points:
  20. 20. Republican women elected officials feel frustrated that their party is perceived as anti-women. Aside from electing more women to office, what would you say are the most important things Republicans could do to help change this impression? GOP: Anti-woman Survey Question
  21. 21. Key Points: ›  Republican women don’t think the party is anti-woman. They think a biased and liberal media trumps it up. ›  College educated women, in particular, are sensitized to the Republican party being anti-women, anti-women’s choice and autonomy. ›  Equal pay for equal work was mentioned a lot. However, it is unclear if these women think Republicans aren’t for equal pay or that equal pay is important to them and, therefore, something they should stress. ›  There is a reason Democrats and Hillary Clinton say Republicans want to take women back. That’s what many of these women think. Stop being the backward, 1950s party. ›  Stop attacking reproductive rights. ›  Definitely showcase more women messengers who – this is important – aren’t like Sarah Palin. GOP: Anti-woman
  22. 22. Regardless of how you may actually vote, if you were giving advice to a Republican candidate on how they could appeal to someone like you, what would you tell them? How to appeal Survey Question
  23. 23. Key Points: ›  Stop focusing on social issues like abortion. Women should make their own choices. Stop moralizing. ›  Think about the middle class, not just the wealthy. ›  Care about people. Show some empathy. ›  Be honest, get things done and collaborate. ›  College affordability, health care, jobs. How to appeal
  24. 24. Perceptions of Democrats from our focus groups ›  Diverse. Reflective of the country. Represents all. ›  For middle class. ›  Liberal. Progressive. Idealistic. Open minded. ›  Pro choice. ›  In touch with younger women. But pander some on women’s issues, especially abortion. ›  Hand-outs. Big government. Entitlements. Democrats
  25. 25. Perceptions of Republicans from our focus groups ›  Conservative. Traditional. Not in touch. Haven’t kept up with the times. Don’t like change. Close-minded ›  White, rich, Christian, old man, old boy’s club. ›  Tea party. ›  Pro life. Legislate morality. ›  Corporate, wealthy, not compassionate. ›  Negative image of GOP woman: Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter. Pearls, suits, blonde hair, judgmental. ›  Fiscal responsibility. Less government spending. Strong national defense. Trickle down economics. Republicans
  26. 26. “Old white guys” A number of you said the Republican party was full of “old white guys.” How can the Republican party change that perception? Would it help if you saw more diverse Republican office-holders? How much of it is who Republicans are versus what they support? Online Follow-up Question
  27. 27. “Old White Guys” ›  For me it's 20% who republicans are (old, white guys) and 80% what they support. What needs to change....they need to show that they are able to create, enforce and support policies that assist non- white. For example Kasich and his willingness to support Medicaid expansion. Or a Republican who would be willing to adjust the amount of food stamps that is up with par of years of inflation. Also I need Republicans to CHILL OUT about "moral issues" like abortion and same sex marriage". It's legal now....get over it.  - Emily B, Columbus ›   I think having a face of the Republican party needs to be more diverse.  We also need Republicans that are diverse that are intelligent and people we can believe and trust in - No Sarah Palin.  The woman you showed in the video clip [Rep Kristi Noem] would be a good face of the party.- Linda K, Columbus
  28. 28. “Old White Guys” ›  Republicans are too far to the right.  This nation has changed a great deal in the past 40-50 years.   Republicans need to change with the times.  Women, minorities, GLBT need to hear different language and policies from there "old" men stuck in the past.- Lori F, Northern Virginia ›  I think it's definitely what they support. There have been women candidates, Hispanic candidates, younger candidates and the image remains the same. It's absolutely about the social issues in my perception of them as old white guys. Their social issue views are very traditional and conservative and stuck in the past.- Jennafer S, Northern Virginia
  29. 29. “Old White Guys” ›  I think the "old white guy" perception is synonymous with "wealthy C-level men that do not understand the everyday challenges of the poor and middle class."  The best thing for the Republican party to do to overcome this is to show the stories behind those people, show that they are real people, tell the story of how they got where they are.  Make them seem more accessible and more like the average American.   I do think that Republicans can help the middle class better than Democrats, but unfortunately those running for office are often un-relatable to the average American and thus it is hard to see how some of their policies could help both the rich AND the poor/middle class. I don't think it has to be an either/or, but the Democrats have done a good job pushing that message out to Americans.- Emily L, Northern Virginia ›  They can change the perception of being 'old white guys' by having younger people in general, non-white people (black, Hispanic), a SMART, young woman (not a parody like Sarah Palin). For me, Republicans need to veer away from the far- right, tea party, Christian conservative politics. They seem so extreme and close-minded to me. I'd like to see some more moderate opinions and a willing to compromise. - Kirsten M, Northern Virginia

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