February 7th, 2014
05:00 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN Poll: Majority say GOP out of touch with women

Washington (CNN) - A majority of Americans, and women in particular, do not believe the Republican Party understands the problems and concerns of women today.

That's the headline from a new national poll that comes as Republicans push back against Democratic claims the GOP is out of touch on female issues and is waging a war on women.

Full CNN/ORC International survey results

According to the CNN/ORC International poll, which was released Friday, 55% of Americans surveyed say the GOP doesn't understand women. That number rises to 59% among all women and 64% among women over 50.

"That last number is intriguing, since older women are more likely to vote Republican than younger women. Yet younger women don't have as much of a problem with the GOP on this measure," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

"That suggests that the problem women have with the Republican Party may be related less to the policy positions the GOP takes and more related to the attitudes behind those policies and the tone the party takes when addressing them," he added.

Some controversial comments by Republicans over the past few years have fed Democratic claims the GOP is out of touch with women. The highest ranking female House Republican tells CNN her party has a messaging problem.

"When you look at our position on issues, a lot of times majority of Americans agree with our positions. But it's the way that we talk about it that doesn't resonate and we have to do a better job," said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state. "I think it's fair to say there have been some comments which are offensive and they're not representative of the entire Republican Party."

"There's more work to be done. Republicans are good at speaking from our head about facts and figures. We also need to speak from our heart and make sure people know that we care," added McMorris Rodgers, the House Republican Conference chair and a rising political star who last week gave the GOP response to the State of the Union.

Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina agrees the problem is more about tone than policy.

"We're concerned about education for their children. We're concerned about jobs, we're concerned about the success of women in this country. The problem is, for whatever reason, we haven't been able to articulate it as well as we should."

Republican women questioned in the poll say the GOP understands their problems and concerns, but the survey indicates independent women don't agree. Fifty-nine percent of independent women said they weren't pleased with the GOP's track record on such issues.

According to the survey, the Democratic Party does not face the same concerns: 63% of all Americans and 62% of American women say that the Democrats understand women.

Pay a problem

President Barack Obama received a loud applause in his State of the Union address when he spoke up in support of pay equity. McMorris Rodgers admits that by opposing Democratic plans to address the inequity for women without putting out their own plan, the GOP faces turning off women.

"Republicans need to recognize that, to be part of solution, in general bringing these work place laws into 21st century," McMorris Rodgers said.

Ellmers agreed, adding that "women across this country believe there's a discrepancy in equal pay for women so this is something we have to be fighting for."

The take at Tammy's Diner

At Tammy's Diner in a northern Virginia congressional district up for grabs in November's midterm elections, the GOP's women problem is on display.

"The Democratic Party is more aware of what is best for a woman, said Peggy Mackey, a Republican.

Michael Bertleson agreed.

"I think they're not as sensitive to women's issues as the Democrats are," he said.

"The more we get involved in government issues, the better things will be for women, urged Jean Bertleson, a Republican. "Get some more women in there."

And that's what Ellmers is trying to do. She is part of a party effort to recruit more female candidates.

"We're fighting so hard to get more women elected. we have to be more representative of the American public, Ellmers said.

But she and her party have a long way to go. Right now only 19 of the 232 House Republicans are women.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from January 31-February 2, with 1,010 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Senior Producer Paul Courson contributed to this report.

soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. Silence DoGood

    In a shrew political move, the GOP is attempting to alienate 1/2 the voters in a block.
    Maybe those libido baby machines are not quite as stupid as they thought!
    From DodgeBall: "It’s a bold strategy Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for him.”

    February 7, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "CNN Poll: Majority say GOP out of touch with women"

    Except, well, you know, the ones they pay to let them touch.

    February 7, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Klizbot

    Can't start to early with the liberal propaganda now can you?

    February 7, 2014 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. Mke

    The majority of Americans do not believe CNN or their polling.

    February 7, 2014 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Solitairedog

    Duh! And that goes for all the demographics in this country except rich white males.

    February 7, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. Max

    the real reason behind this is the fact that the GOP haven't matured yet and are still children

    February 7, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. Mike

    So... basically, there's a box on CNN's website for breaking news and it gets randomly filled by whatever story they can get to fit in that box?

    February 7, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    This is a lie. I want to see actual numbers of the women quesitoned.
    Angry woman

    February 7, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. Jfull

    This is "Breaking news"????????????

    February 7, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. Wade

    Given that the LIBERAL press is the mouth piece for the DEMS and they tell the American people that the GOP is EVIL every day I am not surprised at all. Now if the Liberal media like CNN were to tell the truth about the dems then America would DIE of fright but that will never happen.

    February 7, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  11. pbernasc

    now that is really surprising, the GOP is out of touch .. who would have seen this coming???

    February 7, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. jlacke

    1. Spend over a year telling people that the GOP doesn't understand women.
    2. Perform poll asking people if the GOP understands women.
    3. Proudly announce results of poll indicating that the majority of people think the GOP doesn't understand women.

    February 7, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Sunnysmom

    Is it any wonder with dolts like Huckabee and his "Uncle Sugar" speeches?

    February 7, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. VJ

    If GOP would understand women's problem, they will become democrat.. period.

    February 7, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. John

    The Majority of people don't believe the Republicans, PERIOD.

    February 7, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. waffa freij

    I don't think this should be posted as Breaking News on CNN website, I think it is a known fact.

    February 7, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Scott

    The problem is the Democrats and Obama............they just haven't figured that out yet.

    February 7, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Bill Sanford

    I took a poll of my old, white, male friends, and we think the democratic party, and their partner cnn, hate all white males...

    This kind of trash is stupid. Why would cnn engage in such?

    February 7, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  19. Roger

    CNN: You thought you needed to tell us this?

    LOL!!

    February 7, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. Bobbo

    Um, breaking news once again CNN.. you're polls are corrupt!

    February 7, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. Cartman42

    And the entire country (except the GOP) belts out a collective "DUH!"

    February 7, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. Patti

    No one asked me. How many women were polled because I don't believe that percentage relates to the entire population of women.

    February 7, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. Wow

    Glad this is an unbiased site.

    February 7, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "the problem is more about tone than policy."

    First stage of grief = denial.

    February 7, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. bob

    This is reporting? Pandering to the DNC? CNN is a joke.

    February 7, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16