The GOP's poor relationship with women was laid bare on Wednesday, when a report from two conservative groups showed that nearly half of all women view Republicans unfavorably. But during an appearance on The Daily Rundown with MSNBC's Chuck Todd on Thursday, Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus argued that actually, the point of that report was that women aren't super happy with Democrats either.
Politico reported on Wednesday that the Crossroads GPS and American Action Network report found that women think the GOP is "intolerant," "lacking in compassion," and "stuck in the past." According to the report, 49 percent of women view the Republican Party unfavorably, and 39 percent of women view Democrats unfavorably. That's the part Priebus thought was underreported.
"The point was if you looked at it, women were rejecting the Democratic party by 40 percent; they were rejecting the Republican party by 50 percent," Priebus said, according to Talking Points Memo. "I don't think either party can do a victory lap here."
Priebus has a point, in that Democrats do have a problem with some women. Married women are more likely to be conservative and, as the report shows, they're the one bright spot in a dark picture for the GOP. More importantly, while single women are more liberal, they don't vote as often as married women.
But it seems that the point of a report called “Republicans and Women Voters: Huge Challenges, Real Opportunities," is that Republicans have huge challenges with women voters, and would benefit from overcoming them. Priebus might not be the person to ask about overcoming them. "I'm not sure," Priebus said, when asked why the party is doing worse with women now than in 2010. He added that, "If Republicans talk about things like the economy, the debt and make the case for jobs and schools and education," that would help.
That advice actually contradicts a lot of the report's findings. According to Crossroads and AAN, Democrats hold double digit advantages when it comes to which party is more tolerant, looks out for women's interests, and wants to make healthcare more affordable. Among women who care most about jobs, Democrats have a 35-point advantage. Meanwhile, Republicans only have a 3 percent edge on fiscal responsibility and which party has good ideas to create jobs. Charter schools, a big GOP talking point, aren't popular with women. That seems to be the real gist of the poll. Women know what GOP policies are. And that's the problem.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.