Pitch To Female Voters Focused On Economy

By Erin Smith
Boston Herald.

The “War on Women” — a Democratic strategy to blast Republicans on social issues in the 2012 elections — has morphed into a pocketbook pitch with both parties claiming the high ground as they try to win over critical female voters in upcoming midterm elections.

Republicans plan to use the economy to target single women who may not typically vote GOP, including recent college graduates, said Christine Matthews of Burning Glass Consulting, an all-female Republican firm.

“In this economy, many of them are unemployed or underemployed, and we think there’s a message there,” Matthews said.

“You’ve paid tens of thousands of dollars for a college education, and you can’t even get a job.”

Democrats have hammered Republicans for blocking the Paycheck Fairness Act. GOP leaders argue it’s already illegal to pay women less for the same job under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and note that White House and many Democratic congressional female office staffers make less on average than the men, mirroring national trends.

Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh said, “Republicans have been on the wrong side of the issues that women really care about — the bread-and-butter issues. Women are the majority of the population and they still make 77 cents for every dollar men make. You can call it whatever you want, but I think most women call it unfair.”

The GOP this week launched an initiative to court female voters in 25 key districts — months after Democrats started their own effort to recruit women candidates and volunteers.

“I think you’re going to see women continue to reject the Republican Party,” said Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Lily Adams.

The fight for female voters is playing out in New Hampshire, where leading Republican candidate Scott Brown is challenging U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

“I think women are too smart to fall for these distractions,” said Jennifer Horn, New Hampshire GOP chairwoman. “A review of Sen. Shaheen’s payroll shows she pays men on average $6,200 more than the women on her staff. What women care about is growing their own businesses and providing health care that is accessible and affordable.”

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