February 7th, 2014
05:00 PM ET
6 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. Fool me thrice??

    he GO is NOT out of touch with women......as long as they know their place and have a few million to donate......

    February 7, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  2. misterflibble1

    I actually laughed at the headline. If that's not a "No Sh**" statement, I don't know what is. haha

    February 7, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. Bill, Bloomington Il

    Both parties have their Joe Bidens. The republicans are no different than the democrats.

    February 7, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. John Guido Jr

    Not just Out-Of-Touch with women, But out-Of-Touch with REALITY.

    February 7, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. ddog123456

    Women's main concerns as follows:
    1. Give good head.
    2 Get pregnant
    3. Get me a sandwich

    February 7, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. GOP Sucks

    Republicans have done nothing for 5 years except try to take away women's freedom to control their bodies, and complain that women are wh0 res with uncontrollable libidos.
    With Rush Limbaugh tirade against Sandra Fluke, no sane woman would vote for a republican.

    February 7, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. President Putin

    You can learn something from Russians!

    February 7, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. 99mystic99

    Morris Rogers' comments show just how out of touch the teapublicans are! "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. BS! Lipstick on a pig, etc!

    February 7, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. Doughboy

    non-Breaking News: Majority of Americans don't believe CNN Polls.

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

    The GOP is out of touch with everything.

    February 7, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Doughboy

    non-Breaking News: Majority of Americans don't believe your polls.

    February 7, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. magicpanties

    damn women's libidos, always causing trouble

    February 7, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. justsane

    how is this "new"?

    February 7, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. lew

    This is stupid lol. I can never decide who is worse: GOP or Libs. I lean more towards libs tho, who the hell votes in a Senator from my state of Illinois, to become President of the US? No logic in that one. We are one of the most economically challenged and corrupt states in the country. Yet, we should vote in a senator from here to run the country? Morons lol.

    Only if Ron Paul was President.. *sigh*

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

    women don't even understand women. this isn't news

    February 7, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  16. DemFromSC

    They understand; they just don't give a damn. Hopefully, the voters will respond appropriately this fall.

    February 7, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  17. Jacques Lepin

    The GOP knows this that's why they tried to push Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann front and centre. They need a more articulate orator of the female gender to represent them.

    February 7, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. Vic

    I totally agree. The GOP or anyone that supports some or all of their ideology don't have mothers, sisters, aunts, wifes, daughters... they're not real people. Only people who support liberal ideals are can be thoughtful human beings.

    :|

    February 7, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Tigerflower

    The only real surprise here is that there are any women left who still identify as Republican. It doesn't matter what they say or how they say it so long as they're closing women's health clinics and behind food stamp cuts that directly impact families and kids. Bite me GOP.

    February 7, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. Phaerisee

    When the words "justifiable rape" are used by members of your party, you may have a woman problem.

    February 7, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. Doughboy

    non-Breaking News: your posting comments too quickly, slow down.

    February 7, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Abbey

    Well the Democrats can certainly fill their heads with utter nonsense. Go figure.

    February 7, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. bob

    Why don't you do a poll and ask if Clinton's behavior regarding Benghazi was proper? Think we know the answer to that one.

    February 7, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. DustyOnes

    Fallacy....over 50% of the GOP are women.

    February 7, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. joe reyes

    who cares about what women think they need. We men tell them what they need, besides that their place is the kitchen, cleaning, and having babies

    February 7, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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