Tags: gop | women | voters

Pollster: GOP Should Target Unmarried Women

Tuesday, 24 Mar 2009 03:10 PM

By Ronald Kessler

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Along with Hispanics, the Republican Party needs to appeal to unmarried women, small business owners, and Asian-Americans, Kellyanne Conway, one of the most respected Republican pollsters, tells Newsmax.

“The Republican Party needs to appreciate demographics 2.0,” Conway says. “One out of every 2 new people added to the U.S. population from 2000 to 2008 was Hispanic. Hispanics are by far the youngest racial group in the U.S. More than 50,000 Hispanics turn 18 every month.”

Conway says the best way to reach this population group is through economic, social, and moral issues.

“Hispanics are hardworking, church-going men and women who increasingly question the value of traditional public schooling and are hard-hit by out-of-control government spending,” Conway says.

Up to this point, she says, GOP efforts to win over Hispanics have consisted mainly of creating ads in Spanish that were “mediocre” in English.

Besides Hispanics, Conway says the Republican Party should “stop fearing and start focusing on unmarried America, particularly unmarried women.”

Conway notes that Obama won unmarried women by 41 percentage points and unmarried women who are aged 18 to 29 by 55 points.

“There is an explosion in the U.S. of women who are remaining single by choice and not through circumstance,” Conway says.

In 117 of the 435 congressional districts, a majority of households are headed by an unmarried individual, she says. About one-half of American women live in a home where no man is present.

While many unmarried women regard the U.S. government as welcome members of their family, they begin to become suspicious of the government when they start to “make money, start small businesses, and become part of he investment ownership classes in our country,” Conway observes. Thus, the GOP can appeal to unmarried women through fiscal issues.

“If the GOP wrongly presumes young women only care about abortion and the environment and waits for singles to marry, we’ll continue to lose elections,” Conway says.

Asian-Americans should be a natural Republican constituency, she observes. While George H.W. Bush lost the election to Bill Clinton, he beat him among Asian-Americans by 24 percentage points, Conway notes. Similarly, while Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole, Dole beat him among Asian-Americans by about 5 points. Al Gore beat George W. Bush by 13 points among Asian-Americans.

More recently, that picture has changed. Obama won Asians over John McCain by 27 percentage points.

“The exodus of Asian-Americans away from the Republican Party has been precipitous and stupefying, outdone only by the inability of the GOP to reach out to them,” Conway says. “Asian-Americans, by and large, own small businesses, often cash-based businesses. Their children go to college as you and I drink water and coffee. Of all races, they have the highest income-per-household in the country — over $60,000. Along with Jewish-Americans, Asian-Americans are among the highest, proportionately, in having first-time intact marriages.”

On paper, Conway says, “Asian-Americans are completely conservative and Republican. But we’ve allowed the left to co-opt them by basically messaging them, saying, If you’re a minority, we’re with you. The Republican Party doesn’t care about you, would oppress you. Come with us.”

In general, "I think the Republican Party has spent way too much time asking sophomoric questions like, Who can win? when it comes to elections and asking, How do we be just a little bit different than the Democrats?” Conway says. "Too many Republicans, including conservatives, became Democrat-lite, trying to beat vanilla by being French vanilla or even honey vanilla.”

Beyond broadening its appeal, “the Republican Party technology has to get with the 1990s,” Conway says sardonically. "Technology is the native tongue for young people, and also for some not-so-young people. To have the ability to reach people culturally through social networking sites rather than politically through red-blue or right-left Web sites or through traditional means is critical to the survival and the success of the Republican Party.”

As for President Obama, “The administration lacks the focus, discipline, and messaging we saw in the Obama campaign,” Conway says. “I thought maybe they would pace themselves a little bit better in terms of missteps and even a few failures, but they’ve front-loaded them all into the first two months,” Conway says.

Meanwhile, “Republicans, particularly conservatives, are making very good headway in terms of shocking the national conscience about some of the early economic policies being floated or engineered by the Obama administration,” Conway says. “They need to shock the conscience on some social issues.”

She cites Obama’s actions allowing U.S. funding for abortions overseas and for stem-cell research entailing “destruction of embryos, even though use of adult stem cells and skin cells have shown greater promise.”

Conway predicts Obama will be vulnerable because of his perceived lack of focus and because he is perceived as a hypocrite on issues like earmarks and the ethical standards of his nominees, like Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

“We all know what aggravates voters at the surface level — runaway spending, increased taxes, lack of accountability, pigs at the trough, pigs in the bedroom, all these ethical lapses,” Conway says. “But you know what also aggravates the public that gets very little attention? An inability to focus and to prioritize, especially given how apprehensive and impatient Americans are these days. “

That vulnerability, Conway says, “Is a big risk for the Obama administration.” Ironically, Obama’s unflappability presents another peril, Conway concludes.

“While normally calmness in the face of a storm would be an asset,” she says, “the fact that Obama presumes to be in control over so many searing issues that may be beyond his control eventually risks public outcry.”

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via
e-mail. Go here now.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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