Up-and-Coming Women in the GOP

On Feb. 7, the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Public Affairs Program sponsored a small panel for a number of students who had the privilege to speak with Charles Krauthammer. After a lengthy discussion, which covered topics including possible future Republican Presidential nominees, drone attacks on American citizens, and Obamacare, the subject of women in politics inevitably surfaced. We have all heard whispers that in the 2012 election, single ladies were the most devastating for the GOP. A quarter of voters who turned out on Election Day were unmarried women, and more than two-thirds of their votes were cast for President Obama. The GOP is clearly losing ground with this demographic.

With this in mind, I asked Krauthammer a simple question: “Who are the women most likely to rise as Presidential candidates in the Republican Party?” Krauthammar quickly responded in an earnest manner with the following list. I cannot say that this is Krauthammar’s endorsement list for the 2016 election, but he does give a short list of successful, up-and-coming GOP women.

Nikki Haley: This South Carolina Governor (2010-present) has seen a recent spike in approval ratings. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she is South Carolina’s first woman governor, the youngest governor in the U.S., and only the third person of color to be elected as governor of a southern state. Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party movement endorsed her for governor in 2010. Her voting record is short, but she has made her stance known on many key issues.

She is pro-life, although she has voted in favor of some more moderate reproductive rights bills, including a bill that would exempt patients seeking abortions from the mandatory 24-hour waiting period in cases of rape.

Haley believes immigration laws should be strictly enforced. She believes businesses should be monitored to ensure they are using E-verify, a software program designed to verify a potential employee’s citizenship status.

Haley is opposed to what she sees as excessive and wasteful bureaucracy in the education system. She supports charter schools.

She opposes stimulus packages, gun control, unionization, and Obamacare.

She opposes same-sex marriage. She referred to minorities and women as “just special interest groups” in 2010.



Kay Bailey Hutchison:

This former Texas senator was distinguished by her high approval ratings in the 1994, 2000, and 2006 elections. She often won elections by margins greater than 60%.

Hutchison is Texas’ first female in the Senate. Because she has been in office since 1993, we have a better record of her stance on key issues than Haley or Martinez.

Hutchison opposes the DREAM Act.

She opposes gun control.

She does not believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned but has repeatedly voted in favor of legislation that would restrict access to abortion. She has also voted against funding for teen pregnancy prevention through education and contraceptives.

Hutchison supports public school reform but does not think more funding is necessary. She supports charter schools.

Hutchison has never voted in favor of sustainability programs such as tax credits for renewable energy.

Hutchison voted in favor of a balanced-budget constitutional amendment in 1997.

Hutchison has voted against same-sex marriage numerous times. She opposes affirmative action and opposes sexual orientation being added to the definition of hate crimes.

Susana Martinez:

Martinez, a Texan attorney, is currently the governor of New Mexico. A Democrat until 1995, she impressed audiences at the 2012 Presidential Convention with her story of converting to the Republican Party.

Martinez is both the first female governor of New Mexico and the country’s first female Hispanic governor. She also has a limited voting record.

She opposes same-sex marriage, abortion, gun control, and medical marijuana.

She has a moderate stance on environmental issues, supporting the use of fines to penalize those who break environmental rules.

Martinez wishes to secure the border and deny driver’s licenses and school tuition to undocumented immigrants.