- Associated Press - Monday, April 14, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Two West Virginia counties are among two dozen nationwide that Republicans are targeting to sway women’s votes.

The Republican National Committee announced its “14 in ‘14” program in Charleston on Monday, calling for GOP female volunteers in the 14 weeks before the November midterm elections. The volunteers will recruit other women who are 21 to 40 years old to vote Republican and become involved in election season.

Republicans are asking the women to spend 30 minutes a week on election season outreach.

RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day unveiled the program, which includes Kanawha and Cabell counties. The 24 counties being targeted are spread among nine other states: Florida, Montana, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The RNC says the counties contain a large number of independent and female swing voters.

The initiative reacts to problems in the 2012 cycle, when the GOP struggled to win over minority and women voters. Women have traditionally helped put Democrats in office, including President Barack Obama.

“You can see time and time again, it was no surprise that we didn’t win the Hispanic vote, we didn’t win the African American, Asian, women because we didn’t engage,” Day said in an interview.

Republican U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito also spoke at the Charleston event. Capito and Natalie Tennant, West Virginia’s Democratic secretary of state, are presumptive favorites to face off in November for retiring Democrat Jay Rockefeller’s U.S. Senate seat.

West Virginia has never had a female U.S. senator.

Republicans are targeting Senate seats in more than a half dozen states like West Virginia, where President Barack Obama lost and remains unpopular.

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