GOP Voters Show They Don’t Care if Women Run for Office — Some Argue That Could Hurt the Party’s Future

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Many Republican voters really don’t seem to care if conservative women are represented in elected office, according to a new study by the Republican Women for Progress.

The study, conducted by Bellwether Research and Consulting, found that 71 percent of the Republican primary voters polled said they were “not concerned” that only 13 of the 200 Republican House members were women.

Additionally, the study found that close to 60 percent of the Republican primary voters polled didn’t think that men were more qualified than women to hold elected office. However, roughly the same percentage also didn’t think there should be an increased effort to recruit women.

It wasn’t just conservative men who felt there wasn’t a problem, but conservative women showed similar results. In total, only 24 percent of Republican men and 35 percent of Republican women polled said they found the lack of women to be concerning.

Meghan Milloy and Jennifer Pierotti Lim, co-founders of Republican Women for Progress, released a statement on the findings, saying: 

These results show we still have much work to do to close the gap between Republican voter attitudes and the very real problem of the lack of women in the party. The GOP has failed to adequately invest in Republican women as leaders in the party and this survey highlights the longterm effects of that mindset. We believe increased inclusion of solutions-oriented Republican women will get the party going the right direction again.

Lim, RWFP’s executive director, further expressed her concern.

“A lot of our [female] candidates this year got stuck — they couldn’t make it past the primary,” Lim told IJR. “These primary voters just don’t see the value in having Republican women in leadership positions.”

Lim noted that she was surprised by how few Republicans were concerned about the lack of female representation.

“We didn’t think the numbers were going to be great, but we didn’t think they would be this bad,” she said.

She acknowledged that many conservatives don’t like the idea of identity politics, but she said that having a government reflective of the people it represents isn’t a bad thing.

Lim said she knows there is a mindset along the lines of “I’m not going to vote for a woman just because she’s a woman,” but she hopes Republican voters will be able to see equal representation as an issue beyond just identity.

“All these Republican women that ran this year, none of them were running just because they were a woman,” Lim said. “They were running because they wanted to represent the people of their district.”

As IJR previously noted, even the few Republican women that did secure historical victories in the 2018 elections were largely ignored by the some in the media.

Meet the Trailblazing Republican Women Who Made History in the 2018 Midterms

Give these ladies a round of applause!

Posted by IJR Red on Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Meanwhile, across the aisle, Democrats had a historical number of women take seats in Congress. Those women played a major role in securing Democratic control of the House of Representatives.

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