I don’t have a client right now , but if I did, I’d be looking very hard at what I might do to attract angry women to the party, much as Nixon did with angry southerners in 1968.
Well, actually, I refer you to Janet Elder piece in the NYT from last year:
Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster whose firm, Public Opinion Strategies, is working for Senator John McCain, said, ”Right now all groups are a significant challenge for Republicans.” … Most of the names on Mr. Newhouse’s list have little to do with gender, with the exception of ”Wal-Mart women.” Those are voters who ”generally have lower incomes, are less educated, tend to be conservative and have been impacted by economic difficulties,” he said.
Perhaps the McCain campaign is planning to reach out to these women? Polling indicates fertile ground. Read on.
Forty-nine percent of white women view Obama unfavorably, while only 43 percent hold a favorable opinion. In February, 36 percent of these women viewed Obama unfavorably, while 56 percent had a positive perception of the likely Democratic nominee.
Over the same period, Democratic white women’s negative view of Obama increased from 21 percent to 35 percent, while their positive view decreased from 72 percent to 60 percent — roughly the same rate as white women overall.
The author of the Politico piece, one David Paul Kuhn, has written a very interesting book about the gender gap being a structural problem for the Democratic Party. The book is titled The Neglected Voter: White Men and the Democratic Dilemma.
Now, the general pushback from Democrats is that DNC and/or 527s, PACs, etc. will go up with ads saying that John McCain is pro-life. I suspect that this may resonate and bring some of the upscale Democrats back to Obama. I am not convinced that it will move downscale Democrats at all.
One of the most important things that the McCain campaign could do is wrap himself in high-level female surrogates like … Carli Fiorina. Now is the time to strike with high-profile coalition events or something similar.