For Immediate Release
New Poll Of Women Voters Shows No Mandate For GOP, No Interest In President Palin
Today, EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock released the results of a post-election poll that will help Democrats re-capture women, re-elect President Obama and win in 2012. Taken by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group on behalf of EMILY's List WOMEN VOTE!, the survey focused on women voters who voted for President Obama in 2008, but either stayed home or defected to the GOP or third parties during the 2010 mid-terms.
Dissatisfaction with the economy -- not support for Republican ideas or opposition to Congressional Democrats -- was the overwhelming reason for the behavior of the women surveyed. Even among women who voted Republican in November, there was little evidence of support for current GOP priorities. In fact, 84% of the women who voted GOP in 2010 oppose ending unemployment benefits -- the highest margin of any issue tested.
62% of the women surveyed prefer to re-elect President Obama against an unnamed GOP challenger. When Sarah Palin is named, the number of women preferring Obama explodes to 80% -- meaning a Palin candidacy has the potential to bring even the women who voted Republican this year back into the Democratic fold.
"Once again, women voters proved that their support is absolutely necessary to win elections," said Schriock. "But let's make sure we don't learn the wrong lessons when we analyze their actions in 2010. These women did not stay home or vote Republican because they agree with Republican priorities. And the idea of a Palin presidency sends them running for the Democratic hills. Despite the hype, women voters did not become Mama Grizzlies in 2010."
Among the group of women who sat out the 2010 mid-terms, support for Democratic priorities and for President Obama remains high, with 82% reporting positive feelings toward the President and 66% reporting positive feelings toward the Democratic Party. And among the group who voted GOP, majorities now report concerns about outsourcing, regressive tax policy, social security privatization, and special interests influencing the new GOP Congress.
The bottom line is that Democrats with a strong message can be successful with both groups of women in 2012. The women surveyed reported that a lack of helpful information was their number one reason for being less than enthusiastic about the election. The Republican agenda is either undefined or unattractive, giving progressive organizations like EMILY's List an opening to communicate with women voters about the need to elect candidates with women- and family-friendly policies.
Launched in 1995, the historic EMILY's List WOMEN VOTE! project combines polling and research, advanced information technology, sophisticated message testing, and precinct-by-precinct field work to mobilize millions of women voters across the country. EMILY's List designed WOMEN VOTE! to build a progressive political base that will elect more Democrats, especially women, by helping to increase turnout among women voters year after year.
Conducted by a variety of respected Democratic pollsters, the EMILY's List Women's Monitor program has focused on a range of topics and key voter targets to build a comprehensive data file on the political views and voting behaviors of American women. In addition to survey research and focus groups, the Women's Monitor has pioneered other innovative techniques to dispel myths about women voters and explain how they take in and digest political information.
In the 2009-2010 cycle, EMILY's List raised more than $38.5 million to support its mission of recruiting and supporting women candidates, helping them build strong campaigns, and mobilizing women voters to turn out and vote. With a community of more than 600,000 members across the country, EMILY's List is one of the largest political action committees in the nation. Since its founding in 1985, EMILY's List has worked to elect 84 pro-choice Democratic women to the U.S. House, 16 to the U.S. Senate, nine governors, and hundreds of women to the state legislatures, state constitutional offices, and other key local offices. In the 2009-2010 cycle, EMILY's List had the largest number of members and donors in our 25 year history.