DCCC touts outreach to female voters

National Democrats are touting “unprecedented” outreach to female voters this cycle in an attempt to mitigate the expected turnout dropoff among that core Democratic base constituency.

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In a new memo, obtained first by The Hill, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Executive Director Kelly Ward highlights the party’s ground, messaging and recruitment efforts this cycle geared specifically towards women.

“The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching an unprecedented outreach effort this summer to make sure women know what this election means for their lives. This comprehensive, unparalleled strategy includes innovative targeting tools, strong female recruits and a robust field effort to connect women with their peers and encourage them to vote in November,” she writes.

Women’s Voices, Women Vote, a group aimed at tracking women’s engagement in politics, predicts a third fewer unmarried women may vote in 2014 than did in 2012, a year when that constituency helped boost Obama to a win. 

Facing a difficult political climate, few Democrats are expressing optimism about their chances of picking up the 17 seats they’d need to take back the House this fall. But allowing such a significant dropoff in a traditional Democratic constituency from 2012 could have devastating consequences for the party, potentially leading to net losses in November.

To combat that, Ward writes in the memo, Democrats will aggressively push the party’s message of economic populism and emphasize the belief that “when women succeed, America succeeds.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) kicked off a nationwide bus tour on Sunday in New York to press exactly that message. She will appear at other events with female Democratic lawmakers during the tour.

Ward adds that the outreach strategy will use “state-of-the-art targeting tools and earlier-than-ever field work” — six months earlier, she says — to engage with female voters.

The DCCC, according to the memo, launched a three-day phonebanking effort from women to women, with 236 volunteers in 34 districts calling 12,493 women over that three-day period. In addition, the committee had a “Women Succeed” weekend of action, which featured 72 additional events in targeted districts nationwide focused on outreach to female voters.

Women also make up more of the Democratic caucus in Congress than the GOP in both the House and Senate, an advantage that could grow this year, as House Democrats are running more female candidates than Republicans. Nearly 60 percent of the committee’s Red-to-Blue candidates — those strong, successful recruits running in top-targeted races — are women, according to the memo.

And Ward writes that polling shows that “women are responding to Democrats’ message of economic opportunity, and do not trust Republicans.”

“There’s no question that women will play a deciding role in November’s elections, and they will vote for the candidate who will fight for them,” she writes. “From equal pay to health care, the answer is clear: House Democrats are working to enact an economic agenda to lift up women, while House Republicans work to undermine them. The DCCC’s aggressive efforts to connect this message with women voters around the country will help turn them out to vote in November.”