Pelosi Works to Attract Women to Vote Democrat

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Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 10:55 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi is aiming her political strategy at women, planning dozens of events around the country in hopes of attracting them to vote the Democratic ticket.

Women are considered a key demographic for the Democratic Party, reports Politico,  and political observers think Pelosi may have a long shot at reclaiming the House Speaker's seat in 2014 if Democrats can reclaim the House.

Traditionally, turnout in midterm elections is low, and national Democrats hope to remake the midterm electorate to resemble the one supporting President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

House Democrats will start their annual retreat in Cambridge, Md., on Wednesday, and Pelosi is arguing that the party should focus on women's issues, such as pay equity, laws that prevent women from being fired or demoted for pregnancy issues and in focusing scholarships for single women who want to further their education.

Pelosi knows that getting women out for the vote is critical for winning swing districts, including major states such as New York, New Jersey, and California. But according to the Voter Participation Center, 30 million fewer female, minority and young voters will go to the polls than in the 2012 presidential election.

Pelosi says Speaker John Boehner is blocking the issues from coming to a vote, including a minimum wage increase and universal prekindergarten.

Rank-and-file Democrats are playing up Pelosi's push to attract female votes, as well.

"This economic agenda not only unites our party and motivates our base, it contrasts our fight for the middle class with Republicans’ reckless and irresponsible agenda that robs women of their healthcare rights and ignores their struggle for equal pay," Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel told Pelosi.

But Republicans say the tactics won't have an effect come Election Day.

"This is clearly a defensive maneuver by Democrats since they are losing support from women who are feeling firsthand the devastating effects of Obamacare," said Liesl Hickey, executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The NRCC is also making a push for the female vote on its own, recruiting a record number of female candidates this election year with 14 women seeking competitive office.

But polls show Republicans have some efforts to make to woo the female vote. A CNN/ORC International poll released recently shows 55 percent of Americans do not believe the Republican Party understands women's issues, and 59 percent of women don't think Republicans understand them. In comparison, 35 percent of women thought Democrats understand their issues more.

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