Looking Ahead with the GOP and Millennial Women

Following Tuesday’s election, one of Georgia’s own and Senator Isakson’s former Press Secretary, Lauren Culbertson, took to the pen for an op-ed on The Hill about one of 2014’s -and certainly 2016’s- most important demographics: millennial women.

In her  article, which focuses heavily on the fact that “just because Republicans won the Senate, we can’t hail “victory” and assume that we have a winning strategy for 2016”, Culbertson paints a picture with a resounding message that some may see as ‘grave’. Essentially, millennial women are looking for much more substance and deeper roots in their candidates and if the GOP doesn’t hone in on that, 2016 doesn’t have a bright outlook for the GOP.

Millennial women are seeking a positive message from real, relatable people with smart ideas and sound polices that will make it easier for us to find good jobs and that will provide our future children with abundant opportunities.

We’re pro-economic growth and for a less invasive government—that includes less involvement in our personal lives. We might not morally agree with abortion, but we don’t think it should be in the government’s purview. We might not be gay, but we want our friends to be able to enjoy the same rights as us. Another big hint: nothing enrages a millennial woman more than not earning equal pay for her work.

I happen to agree with her. Not that previous generations of women didn’t have similar or worthy demands in politics, but no doubt we have seen a shift in the focus of young female voters because of a spike in higher education and workforce numbers. Her full article is worth the read. Click over to the article on The Hill here.


  1. Jon Lester says:

    From polling I’ve seen, both female and male “millennials” prefer socially liberal and fiscally responsible government. The GOP would do well to let some of their ranks follow Mike Huckabee to wherever he finds a home.

    • Jon Lester says:

      You might be showing your age here. Not so many of them will have husbands before their 30’s,if ever, and I say that as a credit to their sensibility.

      I do get the joke, and I hope you’ll detect my own levity. I’m 44.

  2. caroline says:

    Basically the GOP is going to have to decide who is more important? Young women or aging evangelicals? Because you’re not going to get both with the current way the party is run and the current platform.

    • drjay says:

      honestly you could probably say young people or aging evangelicals—i know anecdotes are not statistics but my cohorts, even the more conservative ones, seem more socially liberal (if not liberal at least libertarian) and fiscally conservative than like my parents are…

      • caroline says:

        That’s not surprising. Even around here there seems to be very few social conservatives. And I wonder if it’s more of a rural/urban divide type thing too.

        • therightdirection says:

          Newsflash: Our population is aging, ergo the largest demographic will be voting GOP.

          Also, the margin of victory for the GOP among evangelicals was larger than the Dems margin of victory among non-whites. Let that sink in. The GOP would be making a huge mistake abandoning their base on social issues.

          The Dems are getting killed in many parts of the country for their antagonism against coal, oil, etc, but you don’t see the media on their fainting couches bemoaning how the Dems need to moderate on energy issues. I wonder why that is?

          And the author lost a ton of credibility when she invoked theEqual Pay mantra. I’ve never seen a talking point demolished so many times, by the Right, Center, and even honest people on the Left, that still hangs around and is used as some sort of reason to feel like a victim.

            • therightdirection says:

              Pretty much all media. Conservative media isn’t concerned with Dem policies.

              So called “mainstream” media concern troll the GOP on women’s issues, but for some reason don’t with Dems.

              • griftdrift says:

                Oh my goodness gracious! Look what I found here! It was terribly hard to find. It took my poor little fingers all of 30 seconds! I’m not real sure but I don’t think the NY Times is part of the “conservative media”. But I could be wrong.


                “Ms. Grimes’s inability to avoid Mr. Obama’s baggage was perhaps most evident in the heavily unionized stretches of eastern Kentucky coal country, which were among the most reliably Democratic areas of the country in the 20th century. But the so-called war on coal has dealt a devastating blow to Democratic fortunes in the region, and by extension, to Democrats seeking office in states like Kentucky and West Virginia.”

              • griftdrift says:

                Oh my goodness! Here’s another one! Where IS my fainting couch?


                “Whitehouse’s trip to West Virginia on Wednesday will focus on how miners have been affected by the shrinking demand for Appalachian coal, driven mostly by mechanization, and more recently, by cheap natural gas and environmental rules. A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the House to protect miners from the economic effects of lower coal use, and Whitehouse’s staff is exploring the issue too.”

              • griftdrift says:

                Whew. It’s just getting tougher and tougher. I’ll admit I’m a Slate subscriber but y’all already “know” i’m just another liberal.


                “Part of the reason for the president’s popularity problem is—no debate here—coal. The Environmental Protection Agency’s tough new coal regulations have hit the state’s economy hard. And though Democrats, including Plante, argue that the story of the state’s economic woes is more complicated than “Obamacare and the war on coal are taking all your jobs,” that’s largely the message voters have heard. And it’s a message that, per Carenbauer, has gone largely unchallenged by the state’s Democrats.”

                • therightdirection says:

                  Good research. And I’ll concede that it is at least mentioned in their stories. I’ll wait until Republicans turn it into a meme, and then have “objective” reporters, anchors, etc question Dems unrelentingly about it.

                  And no, don’t give me crap about being deeply entrenched. I don’t think media members are owned, I just think they are mostly blind to their own biases.

                  • Will Durant says:

                    And you are going to wait for Republican “objective” reporters to form your opinion for you because they are somehow not “blind to their own biases”?

                    • therightdirection says:

                      Well considering republican reporters are few and far between I’ll be waiting a while.

                      This argument is off topic and I apologize, but I’ll never understand why Dems and GOP can’t come to an agreement on media bias.

                      MRC (very GOP) posted a graphic the other day that goes something like this:

                      The big 3 (CBS, ABC, NBC) ran 159 stories about the midterm campaign from Sep 1- Oct 20 in 2006. But only 26 stories during the same time period in 2014.

                      Only thing I can think of is that maybe if the analysis included through the end of October, the number may have been more equal. I see stats like these all the time, and they are dismissed out of hand. But when you see them over and over and over again, the preponderance of the evidence is clear.


                    • therightdirection says:

                      I don’t give a crap about known biased reporters, like people from Salon or Breitbart.

                      GOPers complain about supposed objective reporters who don’t do a fair job. ABC, NBC, CBS, the AP, etc come to mind.

                    • Will Durant says:

                      Reading the other guy’s stuff is what the military calls “gathering intelligence”. If you wish to discount this woman’s opinion because of the source you may do so. If the Republican Party continues to do so it will be at their own peril.

    • Stephen says:

      I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that aging evangelicals are low hanging fruit for the GOP. However, the GOP needs to keep in mind that if you appease the Evangelicals that are voting right now, you are laying a permanent foundation as the evangelical party. I am a Millenial, and I can honestly say that many members of my generation are not fans of traditional structure, norms, or things that are currently considered the truth. They are not satisfied with the statement “that is just the way things are” if the GOP, wants to capture the next generation, they have to start right now, otherwise, they will lose the millenials to the Democrats, and we will be a minority party nationwide for one, if not two generations. In order to get to millenials though, the party has to relax on its heavy pursuit of the Evangelical vote. It is a major choice between getting the votes we need right now, and laying the foundation for the future of the party, and the thing is that we can do one thing really well, or do two things in a mediocre fashion. I hope the party makes the right choice, for the millenial’s sake.

      • therightdirection says:

        In 2012, 18-22 year olds voted for Romney. They were too young to experience the misguided euphoria of 2008, and weren’t liking what they were seeing.

        Their brethren in the 23-29 range if I remember correctly still voted for Obama.

        These things are cyclical, due mostly to when you come of age.

        People forget Reagan did well with young people. Even in the 80s, the GOP was the party of “traditional values.”

        • John Konop says:

          I respect what you say…from my own kids and their friends, they seem to be very libertarian on social issues….yet fiscally conservative and anti affirmative action…I am 52 and we were way more judgmental as a generation in my opinion…race, religion, gay…..they are way more live and let live….

        • Will Kremer says:

          Reagan is great–I’m a huge fan–and he might score well with the 35+ crowd, but Millennials can’t relate to him. Those who were alive during his administration have little to no memory of him and those (like myself) who were born post-Reagan only know what our history books tell us. He might have done well with young people, but he’s not with us anymore.


          • therightdirection says:

            My sole point is that you don’t have to be a radical revolutionary to win the youth vote.

            • John Konop says:

              The problem is the under 40 crowd is way more Libertarian on social issues than the over 70 crowd…The GOP will get hit on both ends over time….I am not buying the under 40 crowd will change their views that much….If you look at issues like decriminalizing pot…..it all got majority votes…..

      • TheEiger says:

        “I hope the party makes the right choice, for the millenial’s sake.” This is what I’m talking about. Why the hell should politicians listen to you. Our generation doesn’t vote. Everything millennials talk about is all about ME. Shouldn’t it be, “I hope the party listens to us so that our country will be better.”

  3. greencracker says:

    Bless his heart, don’t be the young Republican who went down in the well with an honoring resolution for some champion cheerleading team and whose comment to them was that the leadership and dedication they’ve learned in putting together this great winning team will ‘prepare them to be wives and mothers.’

    WTF? Or judges or personal trainers or teachers or missionaries or computer programmers, or wife or mother to some dude who needs serious enlightenment; like, any one of the 10,000 things out there to do in which “leadership” skills or “dedication” might be important?

    I’m not sure there is any economic program good enough to make up for neanderthal mindset.

  4. griftdrift says:

    Economic development? Get out of the abortion debate? Stop standing in the way of gay marriage? Well, that’s not exactly the drumbeat we’ve heard for the past four years. In fact, its mostly been the opposite and if Republicans thought otherwise, there was a rush for the kindling.

    But good for her. And here’s a little bonus. That line might attract cranky old independents too.

  5. Harry says:

    You guys are living in your own little bubble. The GOP will always be skewed social conservative. It doesn’t mean every GOPper is socially conservative, but quite a few of us are and our numbers are growing. You better learn how to coexist with us.

      • Harry says:

        We have to coexist with one other, but I’m hearing that social conservatives just need to keep quiet or go away. Not gonna happen. Let’s have a free and open dialogue.

        • Ellynn says:

          We can relate. Women have been told to keep quiet and go away for a very long time. Reguardless of our poltical leaning, it kind of makes us annoyed and defensive, sort of like you right now.

          Here’s what every guy should be asking himself. ‘Does he believe his daughter / grandaughter should be paid less then a man if the two are doing the exact some thing?’ If you answer yes and you lean with the GOP, carry on – all is right inyour world. If you answered no, then fix it (and in return you might save the GOP)

            • Ellynn says:

              Did you get the line, ‘doing the exact some thing’…?I’m not compairing national averages. I’m not looking at what business A. pays it’s workers, over busines B. And As long as you can find articles proving your point instead of HEARING what a large voting block feels, The GOP will become the party of over paid CEO ‘s.

              Additionally,I know some people who would say, ‘Women sould be home taking care of the kids’.

              • Baker says:

                So rather than using the data to try and explain what is purportedly a huge problem isn’t as big a problem as thought (I’m not saying this doesn’t happen), we’re just supposed to go with what people FEEL?

    • Three Jack says:

      “You guys are living in your own little bubble.” Wrong answer Harry!

      If any group is living in a bubble, it would be the evangelical socons like yourself. Socons will not negotiate; end abortion, gay relationships and deport all illegals. In other words, a closed minded group determined to get their way through the use of government force which is counter to the definition of conservative.

      Millenials or whatever the rest of us are called examine issues and form opinions individually without worry that we might be disparaged by some group or other category of folks. That is not living in a bubble. That is having an open mind understanding that society changes over time and generations.

      • TheEiger says:

        Couple of comments; I know some people on here like to speak without facts. I’ve been wound up and shot from the hip and my facts have been wrong before too, but your comment on evangelicals wanting to “deport all illegals” is wrong.



        I have heard my pastor (former head of the Southern Baptist convention) preach from the pulpit about compassionate immigration reform. That does not mean kick everyone that is brown out of the country. I know that may be what you want to paint us as, but it isn’t true.

        I also like how everyone tells me what millennials think and feel about abortion and gay marriage. And how if we don’t change as a party we will lose every election from now on. Well, I am a millennial. I do think that there are members of the republican party that make social issues the main focus of their policy agenda and it can be distracting and off-putting to some people. I also don’t believe that we as a party should kick them to the curb. If people want complain and moan about the people running then run yourself. Pick a candidate give them money and make calls for them. Know a young, smart person that would be a great state rep? Encourage them to run, but don’t tell me that my beliefs are wrong because you fail to understand my point of view.

        I went to UGA and outside of every home Georgia game there would be people telling me that I was going to hell because I drank a beer. Well, those people are just crazy. Just like the liberals have the climate change and PETA crazies the right has there’s. I’m not talking about those people. Crazy is Crazy.

        I’m talking about the people like me who have the three exceptions for abortion. Or that have gay friends, but believe marriage is between one man one woman and God. I think the worst thing that has ever happened to the institution of marriage is having the government define what marriage is for tax purposes. They should stay the hell out of it. I’m all for civil unions. I’m all for people sharing tax benefits and insurance and everything that comes with the government’s definition of marriage. But to me the government has nothing to do with marriage. It’s between me, my wife and God.

        Lumping every Evangelical into one big pot and lumping every millennial into one pot is wrong. If millennials want to be heard and listened to then they need to go vote in higher numbers. Until then, the 55+ will determine elections.

        To be completely honest. I see most millennials as whinny little brats that are two lazy to get off their butts and do something about the outcome of elections. They just want to scream listen to me. Go do something about it and quit complaining. Welcome to the real world. If you don’t like it help change it or shut your mouth because you are becoming annoying.

        • Dave Bearse says:

          Your three exceptions are illogical. Human activity causing climate change is accepted science. Carry on with the fair and balanced meme.

          “God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.” James Inhofe, soon to be chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

          • TheEiger says:

            You liberals have been promising me that Florida will be under water soon. I’m still waiting so that I can have a shorter drive to the beach

      • therightdirection says:

        Evangelicals in a bubble? HA! All we have to do is turn on the tv, go to a movie, sit a coffee shop, open a newspaper, go to peachpundit.com, and we will see exactly what secularism is. Unless you go throughout life without seeing these things, you are very informed to what pop culture values and what they ridicule.

        Besides nut jobs on blogs who probably have never read the bible, where do you go to get nuanced conversation about christian involvement in public life? Considering you think evangelicals as a cohort don’t like illegals as people, that tells me you are lacking in your evangelical knowledge.

        • Will Kremer says:

          Mr. Therightdirection,

          Let me stop you. You are a social conservative and I assume (I could be wrong) an evangelical voter. There is nothing wrong with being an evangelical voter, but it’s people like you who give the movement a bad name. Using the argument, and I quote, “Besides nut jobs on blogs who probably have never read the bible,” gives you and the movement a terrible, terrible reputation.

          I’m a PK (Pastors Kid for those of you who aren’t familiar) and I was raised with evangelical values. I am also a Millennial. Everything you read would tell you that those two cannot coexist, yet here I am, on this awful, secular blog known as Peach Pundit writing about politics. I know many voters like you who give the movement a terrible reputation from the vile attacks you spew out when you feel threatened.

          Maybe you should soften yourself a bit and not viciously attack people. You’d sound more reputable and perhaps, maybe, people would listen to you instead of discounting you as a jerk.

          • therightdirection says:

            Will, I must not have been clear. My point about “nut jobs” was directed at fellow conservatives. I was wasn’t referring to Harry or Ellyn above. I was referring to conservatives who rail on and on about deportation–saying that they don’t speak for most evangelicals. And if they read their Bible carefully, they would see that their does need to be compassionate immigration reform, as stated by someone else above.

            So I don’t want liberals to think that’s what conservative evangelicals also believe. Now that I’ve made myself clear, I’d appreciate a retraction from you saying that I give the movement a bad name, and spew vile attacks. Much obliged.

  6. blakeage80 says:

    The best thing the GOP can do is lay out a framework for small government. If government is so small that it doesn’t have to recognize marriage to carry out an of its functions, then most of that argument becomes moot. With abortion, we will always argue on when our murder laws start to apply to a tissue mass/baby. That won’t go away any time soon. I disagree on that one. On equal pay, I don’t understand how anyone wants to pay a person less for who they are instead of what they do. I’m a white man and I should have the same opportunities as a woman of color!

    Also, I disagree that one generation should be considered more important than another. Politically or otherwise. I think it is arrogant of anyone from any generation to claim status above another. We probably shouldn’t classify our selves that way as I see it potentially just as harmful as classifying a group by race or gender.

    • Harry says:

      Yes, government and laws shouldn’t be involved in marriage, and also shouldn’t tell me that I have to prepare a wedding cake or provide photography for what I believe to be an immoral event.

  7. FranInAtlanta says:

    We Republicans have made many mistakes that have hurt us. But I think letting Democrats convince women that we are at war against them is at the top of the list.
    Equal pay for the same work has always involved 1) asking for the pay and 2) being willing to move on if we don’t get it. It is to some extent gender-neutral – I am sure that plenty of guys can point to those who earn more because they manage to be kin or cozy with the right people. It is not and has never been like school where grades are mostly objective.
    We need to stop fighting the abortion battles that are lost. We need to keep fighting against the killing of viable unborn babies – there is majority support and it is still happening.
    Regarding “marriage equality,” my take is that two adults (including close kin) should be able to enter into a “marriage” contract with all of the financial advantages and disadvantages that accrue and that no that it is no one’s business what goes on behind closed doors or what celebration of entering into contract takes place.
    For what it’s worth, I consider myself an evangelical, but there is no need for us to force our views on others. And even many atheists are against the killing of viable babies.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Ti’s good to know that it’s women’s fault for not speaking up, moving on, or having the right men friends.

    • C’mon, Harry – really? You consider this video congruent with the original? This guy goes into a mall, with a wedding ring, and compliments women (after having a conversation first) who are working… as customer service and salespeople. Of course they don’t make a big deal about it. The original video was a woman walking at a rapid pace on the street with her head down.

      “Read the room”.

      • Harry says:

        Both vids have a valid point. Young men and women have different hormones, and please don’t ignore it. An innocent compliment here and there or door held open, is appreciated by most. Flirtation is a necessary aspect of species survival. Certain behaviors do cross the line however, and we all have a pretty good idea where the line is.

  8. saltycracker says:

    Semi-Short version:
    Republicans should stand for individual freedom and religious freedom while minimizing government involvement. In keeping one from infringing on the other we can debate, go old or new testament justice but it is complicated.

    Abortion: it is an individual/religious decision, not the public’s (disclosure: as a pro-lifer with an unusually large female family, it teaches diplomacy and compromise to avoid a biblical level eradication of my seed). The public/taxpayer involvement should be restricted to criminal actions- rape, incest, or health issues with the mother or fetus.
    The government/taxpayer should stay out (paying) of abortion as a means of birth control.

    Marriage: demographics/participants and legal purposes have changed big time here. Government needs to concern itself with individuals and contracts. Traditional or new wave marriages – man/woman, same sex, polygamous, transgendered or whatever can be blessed in the church or sect/tribe of the individuals choice. The government should grandfather in current legal and tax situations and for the future, look at all as individuals.

    Equal pay: minimum wage is law and can be adjusted – private pay beyond that is none of the government’s business. Republicans should stand for equal treatment as individuals but this is an area they need not legislate.

    Gay/transgendered: in a secular government, Republicans should stand opposed to discrimination for sexual orientation, race, religion, sex, ethnic group…..affirmative action in these categories. should be opposed. Rare rules/legislation might be called for in some situations – transgendered in school sports is one (play your parts – pun intended).

    • saltycracker says:

      While we are tossing in challenges – Obamacare – we have proven we cannot administer or prevent massive fraud in government health programs so let’s stick to regulating it in as open a market as we can

      Our rogue executive order Prez will veto all GOP attempts to repeal Obamacare. When repeal fails the GOP must get serious with a fix everyone can live with.

      We have proven we cannot administer or prevent massive fraud in government health programs so let’s stick to regulating it in as open a market as we can.

      Individual mandates: everyone with skin in the game.
      No rejection for pre-existing conditions.
      A government regulated private coverage program in a competitive environment.
      Including govt paid or subsidized premiums/admin fees for privatized Medicare, Medicaid, govt employees, congress coverage.
      Surcharges for poor lifestyles, smoking, gross obesity, addictions.

  9. seenbetrdayz says:

    I’m guessing the GOP won’t be using its newfound leverage to push for removal of marriage licensing from state responsibilities, and removing the accompanying benefits that marriage entails.

    Doing so would effectively de-politicize the issue. There is a small caveat in that you won’t be able to say who can’t marry. But it would also remove the state’s power to say who can.

    Just think about it, but don’t think too long ’cause the pendulum always comes back around.

    • Harry says:

      A marriage license is in essence a registered contract between two persons that can be enforced. On reflection, although many of us consider the physical act of homosexuality to be ungodly and unnatural, I have no problem with homosexuals and others being permitted to enter a contract between themselves if the parties understand they are subject to the same enforcement as happens in any other contractual relationship.

      As a religious moralist however, I object to use of the term “marriage” in a contract. Better to refer to it as a relationship contract, then there is no confusion. A marriage happens under the eyes of God between man and woman who intend to be together intimately and hopefully bear children no matter the legal venue. Any legal, recorded relationship between any parties under all circumstances should transmit no tax or other benefits. Outside the legally-binding contract the individual partners should stand on their own. Instead, any government benefits and allowances should be provided only in connection with children whether natural or adopted. Legal adoption of children should carry very few restrictions other than ability to provide a safe home.

      Christians and other religious people should not refer to homosexuals as “married”. Such persons have a legal relationship – that’s all.

      • seenbetrdayz says:

        Are you also for the state not using the term ‘marriage’ when addressing heterosexual contracts?

        I’m saying that the GOP needs to get the State out of the business of marriage before it’s too late.

        It should technically be at odds with the Religious Right, anyway, that the state has to grant any permission (license) for a marriage (or whatever you wish to call it) to take place. Does the State supercede God? I’d hope Christians would say no. —But no one has ever presented it to the RR in such terms, at least not enough to push for a separation of marriage and state. Perhaps it’s time to start.

        • Harry says:

          Agreed. Marriage is a covenant between a man, a woman and God. It should have no reference with the state. The state should enforce contracts between parties however.

        • saltycracker says:

          I’m saying there is no marriage license but a contract between individuals. The state should have some basic regs on who can execute the contract, age, residency, std property and dependent items or other stipulated mandatory clauses. No reason there isn’t a basic template one could pull off a legalforms.com type site if they wanted to keep it simple. Roll a will in there if desired.

          It would be similar to any other legally executed and filed contract. There would be no implied spousal rights as today. More like a business contract.

          Marriages would be a religious ceremony between the participants and their church, organization, cult and separate from the state. Doesn’t end legal disputes.

        • saltycracker says:

          It is time to get it sorted out as gay marriages have expanded the “club” primarily for the public benefits in many states. The club will continue to expand, polygamy is next. Single/divorced folks are a growing demographic group so we increasingly expect that group to carry more of the burden.

          For the GOP our exclusivity of male/female marriages is a shrinking model as society accepts non- traditional lifestyles. Not saying it is all bad, just saying it is not worth the effort or capital in society for the public to foot the bill for various groups individuals live in.

  10. androidguybill says:

    Instead of chasing liberal women (including the ones who are “fiscally conservative” so long as the programs that they like do not get cut) the GOP needs to increase their strength with men. (Doing so will aid them with the women that are attached to these men, who lest we forget are husbands, fathers, sons etc. to women.)

    Republicans do best with men that are in the middle of the economic/education scale. Democrats tend to do better with men at the extremes at both ends (i.e. the high school dropout and the Ph.D. in chemistry). So, come up with a policy to chase fellows like that. There are probably also some things that the GOP can do in order to improve their numbers with Hispanic, Asian and even certain black males. The case is kind of easy to make: the welfare state and the current educational system only truly helps the few able-bodied males that are social workers or public school administrators. It puts the screws to the rest of the male working population, and as a result it is not in their interests to pay more and more of their money into it and see it get larger and more powerful.

    There is nothing wrong with being “the guy party.” Republicans should embrace it and build on it.

    • saltycracker says:

      🙂 the many women in my family were brought up to not be beholding anyone, thus my closet chauvinism is preferred to embracing my guy parts.

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