Karin Agness

For its latest effort to expand the appeal of the Republican Party, the Republican National Committee (RNC) launched a new ad campaign, "Create Your American Dream," featuring Americans stating why they are Republicans. When announcing the six-figure ad buy in fourteen 2014 target Senate states, the RNC press release mentions that the ads tested well with women.

The Republican Party is making a noticeable effort to try to reach more women, but the success of the Democrats’ “war on women” strategy suggests more is needed to maximize gains in the 2014 midterm election.

It has been a year since the RNC released the Growth and Opportunity Project report, which examined what went wrong for Republicans in the 2012 election cycle and offered suggestions for how to grow the Republican Party. Recognizing women are the majority of voters, the report called for programs to support women candidates and better connect with female voters. After all, President Barack Obama won women by 11 points in the 2012 presidential election, and he won single women, who make up 40 percent of female voters, by 36 percent. The recommendations speak more broadly than just to the RNC; they’re directed at Republican efforts in general.

The report emphasized the need to highlight Republican women and ways that Republican policies help women, recruit and train more Republican women to run for office and improve messaging to women.

The RNC has certainly followed the recommendation to spotlight more Republican women. The "Create Your American Dream" ad campaign features Republican women telling their stories of why they are Republicans. As a part of its program to highlight work being done by younger leaders, the RNC included an all-female crew in its January Rising Stars Program. In addition, for Women’s History Month, RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day paid tribute to women who made a positive impact on our country, such as Susan B. Anthony. She also gave three Republican women awards at a recent Women’s History Month celebration. Alex Smith, National Chair of the College Republican National Committee, was awarded the 2014 Jeane Kirkpatrick Trailblazer Award; Maria Cino, who served as President and CEO of the 2008 Republican National Convention, was honored with the Susan B. Anthony Award; and Christine Toretti, the Pennsylvania RNC National Committeewoman, was selected for the Mary Louise Smith Trailblazer Award. These women have been on the ground promoting Republican ideas for years.

Karin Agness

Karin Agness is President of the Network of Enlightened Women.
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