As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we reflect on the pivotal role that women play in politics. With the upcoming elections on the horizon, understanding what motivates and mobilizes this powerful voting bloc to cast their ballots is more crucial than ever. From reproductive rights to gender parity in politics, several key concerns are at the forefront, influencing vote decisions and driving women to the polls.

Reproductive Rights: Front and Center

Reproductive rights have emerged as a central issue driving women’s political participation. Recent polls revealed that about 1 in 8 voters cite abortion as the top factor influencing their voting decisions in the upcoming 2024 elections (Source). This sentiment was echoed during the State of the Union address earlier this month.

During the address, President Biden underscored the significance of reproductive rights in the political discourse. He highlighted the implications of restrictive laws, such as those in Alabama, which effectively banned reproductive healthcare services like in vitro fertilization. His mention of Kate Cox, a woman who tragically faced barriers to accessing abortion care in Texas, served as a reminder of the need to safeguard reproductive autonomy. These accounts resonate deeply with many women voters across the country who are mobilizing to protect reproductive freedoms.

Recognizing the impact reproductive rights will play in the next election,  it becomes imperative to effectively engage persuadable voters. In response to this need, partnered with Catalist to build custom Pro-Choice Audiences to reach persuadable choice voters. The move gives candidates the ability to target voters who can be persuaded to vote for Democrats based on their support for abortion access and reproductive freedom. These models are validated with over 1.6 million results, reliably indicating a voter’s support for choice. These models have proven success in influencing voters in Colorado’s state legislature elections demonstrating the persuasive power of targeted messaging on reproductive rights issues. Pro-Choice Audiences give democratic candidates the tools they need to reach supporters of abortion access, mobilize persuadable voters, and exclude voters who are not persuadable. 

Gender Parity in Politics

Despite significant strides, women remain underrepresented at all levels of decision-making. Achieving gender parity in the political sphere requires not only celebrating women’s achievements but also addressing systemic barriers and implementing inclusive policies. Research from the Pew Research Center reveals that 62% of Americans believe that the media focuses too much on the physical appearance of women running for high elected office. Despite these challenges, there is evidence to suggest that women are more likely to support female candidates, driven by shared experiences, perspectives, and policy priorities.

At DSPolitical, we take immense pride in our track record of collaborating with incredible clients, candidates, and partners to achieve unprecedented wins for women up and down the ballot. While there has been a notable increase in the number of female elected leaders, structural and policy changes are still necessary to achieve true gender parity. Women currently make up only a fraction of the U.S. Congress, highlighting the persistent gap between women’s representation and their share of the population. Women’s History Month serves as a reminder of the contributions women have made throughout history, but it also highlights the work that lies ahead in achieving equitable representation.

As we all prepare for the upcoming 2024 elections, it’s evident that engaging and mobilizing women-identifying voters is essential for shaping the future of American politics. Campaigns must prioritize inclusive and tailored outreach efforts to engage women effectively and persuasively.