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Mary Burke Needs To Ramp Up Campaign For Women Voters

October 2, 2014

For a couple of months I have stated to friends that Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke needed to start asserting her case as to why a women governor will be more responsible to the needs of female voters than her Republican opponent, Scott Walker.   I have urged more of a thrust aimed at electing our first female governor.  Over and over I was told by others that Burke needed to come across to voters as a candidate who had skills and ideas who also happened to be a women.  Play down the gender idea, I was told.

The latest Marquette Law school Poll results show that among likely voters–the grouping that most counts when looking for relevant data–the race seems to be titling in a direction that should concern all concerned voters.. Therefore it might be time to again make a determined push as to why the female vote in Wisconsin needs to be courted far more aggressively by the Burke campaign.

It also found Walker holds a significant lead among male voters, 62 percent to 34 percent, which poll director Charles Franklin called “astonishing.” He didn’t say why men were disproportionately siding with Walker. Burke leads women 54 to 40 percent.

There is no lack of evidence as to why Burke would be a better steward of women’s issues than Walker has been.  Cutting our education funding is a concern front and center for every mom.  Since women still balance the books around the kitchen table they know full well the impact of cuts to the prescription drug assistance programs.  No one knows the needs of women’s health issues better than another women so eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood should be the red flag that get hoisted high, and often on the campaign trial.

Without doubt some of the nation’s most regressive and might I add radical anti-choice bills were signed into law by Governor Walker.  Those included mandatory ultrasounds, a statewide, 19-week ban on abortions, and new restrictions that reduce the number of Wisconsin clinics providing any abortions in our state.

There is no doubt that women have a right to be mighty determined to get to the polls.  They have every right to want a candidate to proclaim the importance their issues have in the frothy election cycle this year.  If business interests can be touted at every stop along the way by Walker why can’t the actual needs of women voters be expressed more boldly by Burke?

As I have followed the races across the nation as we move towards Election Day I am reminded of what is taking place in North Carolina where the senate campaign of Kay Hagan has placed greater emphasis on women’s issues than any other and it is playing well with the voters.  Nationally as we break down the polling data from women at large to single women we see even greater gaps between the two parties.

If used aggressively women voters can be a fire-break in this gubernatorial  campaign that is close and in need of some energy and a new headline by Burke.    The past days have not been the best–rightly or wrongly–for the Burke forces.  Let us change the topic and regain the momentum by taking the campaign fight to the center of women’s health issues.  There is a vital center to this matter that must be tapped into with more tenacity by Burke that will then produce a better outcome Election Night.

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