by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
David Drucker of the Washington Examiner highlights one member of Congress who wants the Republican Party to change its approach to women.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., is pushing fellow Republicans to admit they have a problem and thoroughly re-evaluate their approach to women voters, warning colleagues in Washington that a rocky relationship with this critical bloc is hobbling the party and could prove costly in 2020.
The 34-year-old, third-term Republican from upstate New York is something of an endangered species: young, female and conservative. It’s a troubling dynamic for the GOP that predates President Trump. But after Republicans lost their majority in the House of Representatives in a midterm election drubbing and saw the ranks of their women reduced to just 13 out of nearly 200 members, Stefanik decided she had seen enough.
The congresswoman launched a political organization dedicated to electing Republican women to Congress. But in an expansive interview with “Behind Closed Doors,” a Washington Examiner podcast, Stefanik conceded that her effort, while an important step, is insufficient. The Republican Party, she said, needs to undergo a culture change in how it thinks about women politically — and develop and execute a strategy to match.
“The last time we had a really strong strategy toward winning women voters was the Bush campaign when there were ‘Security Moms,’” Stefanik said, referring to former President George W. Bush’s re-election nearly 15 years ago. “We need to come up with what our 21st Century strategy is toward winning suburban voters.”