The Republican Female Vote

What better day than International Women's Day to take a look at the tenor of the discussion as U.S. Republican Presidential candidates trip over themselves to woo religious and social-conservative voters. Their critics even inside the party say they are doing it at the expense of hard-fought rights for women. And a new poll suggests that every time the top Republican candidates weigh in on abortion, contraception, women's health and working moms they hand the female vote to the Democrats.

Part One of The Current


It's Thursday, March 8th.

1500 women were burned by acid attacks last year.

Nearly seven million children under five die every year.

Fewer than 20 per cent of the world's parliamentarians are women.

Canadian women earn 30 per cent less than Canadian men.

This is The Current.

The Republican Female Vote - Democratic pollster

This is International Women's Day-- but it sure hasn't been International Women's month. Some of the political discourse from the United States could fall squarely in the court of misogyny. We aired a clip from Rush Limbaugh, the conservative U.S. radio host, describing Sandra Fluke. Ms. Fluke is a law student who spoke out in favour of a new initiative compelling institutions - even religious ones - to include birth control in their employee health insurance plans.

Mr. Limbaugh misjudged his audience. More than 30 of his sponsors bailed, at least two stations dropped his show. President Obama called Ms. Fluke directly to offer his moral support. But Mr. Limbaugh isn't alone in failing to read the temper of the times. The Republican Party is losing female support. Leadership hopeful Rick Santorum did the party few favours when he told a CNN interviewer what he would do if his daughter became pregnant from rape.

Well, Peter Hart is a Democratic pollster with the Peter D Hart Research Institute. His most recent poll of the U.S. electorate conducted with Republican Pollster Bill McInturff was released Monday for NBC and the Wall Street Journal. It didn't have much good news for the GOP. We reached Peter Hart in Washington.

The Republican Women Vote - Women Panel

Well now it's time to talk to some women about this! Meredith Warren is a Republican political consultant from Andover, Massachusetts who runs Lyric Consulting and considers herself a moderate Republican. She joined us from Boston. And Rae Chornenky is president of the National Federation of Republican Women. She was in Alexandria, Virginia.

This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson and Josh Bloch.

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