The Fix: women

Why Democrats really, really need women to turn out this November

Why Democrats really, really need women to turn out this November

Around this time in an election cycle, candidates always begin trying to win over the voters who make up the largest share of the electorate, and who usually vote for the winner. We're talking, of course, about women.

In the mid 1990s, there were the soccer moms, the suburban swing voters who everyone assumed were a presidential election's secret weapon for over a decade. In October and November 1996, there were nearly 200 articles mentioning soccer moms in major newspapers. A Boston Globe columnist called 1996, 'the Year of the Soccer Mom.'' In the 2004 presidential election, there were the security moms and malpractice moms. In 2008, there were hockey moms. In 2012, there was the war on women -- one that's still percolating as a rallying cry through both parties today. As the "war on women" rhetoric -- originally focused on reproductive rights -- shows, the exact slice of female voters that politicians think are crucial to their success has changed over time, but it's still a campaign story that hits reprise every election cycle.

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Abortion attitudes are a chameleon, and Republicans are trying to adapt

Abortion attitudes are a chameleon, and Republicans are trying to adapt

Republicans are feeling bullish about abortion even after high-profile election losses in which candidates faced fierce criticism of their abortion views and were accused of waging a "war on women."

Coinciding with Wednesday's March for Life, the Republican National Committee, meeting today in Washington, is considering a new resolution that calls for candidates to speak up about their antiabortion views and defend their support for restricting abortion in a variety of situations. A more vocal GOP could raise abortion's profile in the 2014 midterms, coinciding with plans by abortion rights activists to ramp up campaigns against hundreds of new abortion restrictions enacted by Republican-led states in recent years.

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What’s changed for women donors and candidates (and what hasn’t) in one study

What’s changed for women donors and candidates (and what hasn’t) in one study

2012 was a record election cycle for female candidates at the ballot box, as voters ushered the largest number of women ever into Congress (20 in the Senate and more than 70 in the House).

Compared the lead-up to the 1990 election, when just 31 women were serving on Capitol Hill, that’s quite a jump, reflecting steady growth spanning nearly three decades. But when it comes to political donors, the gap between men and women has not moved as much.

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Prominent women’s activists launch new economic initiative

Prominent women’s activists launch new economic initiative

Several of Washington’s most influential Democratic women are gathering at the Center for American Progress Wednesday to launch an ambitious new effort aimed at making women’s economic prosperity as important to politicians as immigration reform and other key priorities.

The new initiative--“Fair Shot: A Plan for Women and Families to Get Ahead”-- faces an uphill climb. But it reflects a growing recognition that advocacy -- whether it’s on immigration, gay rights, or other matters -- rarely gets politicians’ attention unless they launch organized campaigns composed of broad coalitions.

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Guess who likes the GOP's 20-week abortion ban? Women.

Guess who likes the GOP's 20-week abortion ban? Women.

The war over the "war on women" rages on these days, as Republicans seek to tar Democrats with the scandals of Anthony Weiner, Bob Filner and Eliot Spitzer.

And the next major front in this "war" — the GOP-led 20-week abortion ban — is likely to be even more contentious.

But while Democrats are sure to use the new proposed restrictions to feed the narrative of Republicans' "war on women," polling on the issue actually tells quite a different story.

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D.C. women get equal pay -- unless they head a trade group

D.C. women get equal pay -- unless they head a trade group

Washington women might have been feeling good about themselves on Tuesday, when we let them know they faced the narrowest wage gap in the country.

For every rule, there's an exception. In this case, it turns out it's women who head major trade associations.



While the National Women's Law Center's state-by-state analysis of Census Bureau statistics shows women in D.C. get, on average, 90.4 cents for every dollar men earn, CEO Update just released statistics Thursday showing the five highest-paid female trade group executives earn just 34 cents compared to their male counterparts.

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If not Hillary, who?

If not Hillary, who?

Today is International Women's Day. And, of course, that got us to thinking about when (and if) America will have a female president. (The Fix is nothing if not an unrepentant political obsessive.)

A look at the 2016 presidential fields suggests that if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decides not to run -- and she has left the door open but suggested she is not inclined to make another bid -- there is a dearth of women who a) might run and b) would be considered top-tier contenders if they did.

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The Violence Against Women Act's most interesting votes

The House on Thursday voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, ending an extended political battle over a measure the Senate has already passed and President Obama has agreed to sign.

But for some House Republicans, this may not be the last word they hear about it.

The legislation clears the way for funding to help prosecute sexual assault and domestic abuse crimes, as well as assist victims of such crimes. Some Republicans opposed the measure for a variety of reasons, ranging from a belief that states should handle such matters to concerns over protections extended to gays and lesbians and expanding the authority of tribal courts. Other Republicans supported the measure.

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The Daily Show' on women voters (video)

How can Republicans reach out to single women voters? And why did married women tend to favor Mitt Romney? Jon Stewart and Kristen Schaal explored the topic on Wednesday night's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

Check out the full clip below.

‘Binders full of women’: Liability or sideshow?

‘Binders full of women’: Liability or sideshow?

The social media and political echo chamber have spoken: Mitt Romney’s remark in Tuesday’s presidential debate about “binders full of women” is the hottest topic in the land.

Romney’s comment about gathering female applicants for his cabinet in Massachusetts was decidedly awkward. But Democrats are insisting it was more than that — indicative of the way in which Romney thinks about females.

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Presidential debate moderators announced: Crowley is first woman in 20 years

Presidential debate moderators announced: Crowley is first woman in 20 years

The 2012 presidential debates will feature a female moderator for the first time in 20 years.

The Presidential Debate Commission announced Monday that PBS’s Jim Lehrer, CBS’s Bob Schieffer and CNN’s Candy Crowley will moderate the three presidential debates, while ABC’s Martha Raddatz will moderate the lone vice presidential debate between Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

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The ‘war on caterpillars,’ and what Reince Priebus meant

The battle over women voters in the 2012 presidential campaign reached a fever pitch early Thursday, with Democrats crying foul over Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus’ comments using an insect — a caterpillar, to be exact — to call into question Democratic tactics.

Because there’s already so much spin out there about the comments, let’s first look at exactly what Priebus was asked and what he said.

Here’s the exchange from a taping of this weekend’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” on Bloomberg TV:

And, here’s the transcript:

HUNT: Let me ask you this. The Democrats of course say you are waging, the GOP is waging a war on women. I know you don’t agree with that, but looking at the polls, you have a gender gap problem. Recent polls show a huge, huge margin for Democrats among women voters. How big a problem is it? How do you close it?
PRIEBUS: Well, for one thing, if the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars, and mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we have problems with caterpillars. The fact of the matter is it’s a fiction and this started a war against the Vatican that this president pursued. He still hasn’t answered Archbishop Dolan’s issues with Obama world and Obamacare, so I think that’s the first issue.

Democrats immediately jumped on Priebus’s comments, accusing him of comparing women to caterpillars.

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Barack Obama doesn’t have a ‘women’ problem. At least not yet.

Barack Obama doesn’t have a ‘women’ problem. At least not yet.

Amid stories of dissatisfaction among high-level female staffers in the White House, it’s easy to extrapolate that Obama has a “women” problem.

Except that he doesn’t.

In the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, Obama’s approval rating is at 47 percent among women as compared to 38 percent among men.

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