- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 6, 2013


The top elected woman in Texas gave the Republican Party a scolding Wednesday, saying her party showed in this week’s off-year elections that it can be clueless when it comes to connecting with women voters.

Speaking with editors and reporters of The Washington Times, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said Republicans need to rethink the way they have courted women voters and recognize that there are three basic things that make women tick: their families, their jobs and their futures.

“Tell me that you give a flip about women’s interests,” Mrs. Combs said. “If all you want to talk about is my biology, ‘Gee what happened to my brain?’ That is my point. It is not all south of the waistline.”

Ms. Combs, 69, of Austin, is in her second term as comptroller.

Her comments followed the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, where Terry McAuliffe rode to victory after knocking Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II on hot-button social issues like abortion and gay marriage.

Exit polls suggest the strategy paid off, as Mr. McAuliffe outperformed the Republican by 9 percentage points among female voters in the Old Dominion.

Democrats also tried to paint New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as anti-woman, but the charges did not stick. Exit polls there showed that Mr. Christie beat his female opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono, by 13 points.

The Republican National Committee warned in its post-election analysis — called the “Growth and Opportunity Project” — that the party must do a better job of connecting with female voters and that, when it comes to social issues, the party must “in fact and deed be inclusive and welcoming.”

“If we are not, we will limit our ability to attract young people and others, including many women, who agree with us on some but not all issues,” the report said.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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