Conservatives focus on their base, but even the most ardent now recognize that their failure to persuade swing voters, and particularly women, is a giant wall — maybe the only wall the left likes — dropped across the road to victory.

That wall shattered the “red wave” conviction that inflation and Biden’s sorry track record were sufficient appeal to prevail in ’22. Yet while there’s plenty of discussion about the need to appeal beyond the base, many campaign consultants act as though putting the same talking points in a dress will solve the problem. It won’t.

At Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), we think there are many issues conservatives should talk about, and about which they will find common ground with women and other swing voters. They’ll not only win support among these essential audiences, but create momentum for actionable solutions that will actually yield positive results for the American people.

This can start with IWV’s Hope Agenda, which includes elevating five issues that matter deeply to most Americans, first and foremost women.

In polling done in early October, Independent Women’s Voice asked 1,000 likely 2024 voters the following question: How important are each of these issues to you when making your decision on who to vote for?

The answers, totaling “Very Important” and “Somewhat Important” for the following five statements, all polled at 70% or better not only nationally but across women, independents, Hispanics, millennials, and 18-35 year olds:

  • Preventing biological men from accessing women’s private spaces, athletics and academic opportunities: Nationally: 71%, with 18-35 year olds registering 75%. Looking at just the highest intensity “very important” – 48% for women.
  • Securing borders in America and welcoming safe and legal immigration: Nationally 80%, with women at 81%. For “very important”: 51% for women.
  • Returning schools to teaching academics and pathways to success, not ideology and victimhood: Nationally 81%, with Hispanics at 84%. For just “Very Important”: 56% for Hispanics and Independents, and 58% for women.
  • People being able to freely share opinions and beliefs without being ‘canceled’: Nationally 83%, with women at 82% and Hispanics at 83%. Looking at simply “Very important”: 50% for women and 54% for Independents.
  • Being able to see the price of all non-emergency health care in advance: Nationally 85%, women 86%, Independents 89%, Hispanics 91%, 18-35 82%. For just “Very important”: 51% for women, 54% for Millennials, and 55% for Hispanics.

Interestingly, conservatives are talking about shifting from abortion to transgender issues as their chief cultural focus. While at IW we take a back seat to no one when it comes to fighting to protect minors and provide fully informed consent and equal rights and protections for detransitioners (health insurance generally fails to cover anything that might alleviate or repair, where possible, what has been done), we note that “preventing the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on minors” while important is not yet as strong a concern as the other five issues. It polls nationally at 68%, with 42% of women viewing this as “very important.”

At Independent Women’s Voice, we don’t think it’s enough to flag an issue; we want to help our fellow Americans learn about it, know who will advance it, and do something about it. To that end we have initiatives on each: education materials, video stories, and policy solutions.

Patient Protection Commitment – supports true healthcare price transparency and affordability—implementation of which would drop our nation’s health care costs 40% and would benefit patients and businesses rather than private equity investors and the healthcare special interest groups.

Free Speech Commitment – promotes free speech and  opposes the bigotry of cancel-culture and – as Vivek Ramaswamy neatly puts it – the psychological slavery it engenders.

Trust Through Transparency Commitment – commits to schools being transparent and pro-parent, returning schools to teaching academics and pathways to success, not ideology and victimhood.

Safe Borders Commitment – highlights the importance of securing borders to prevent economic, national security and public health issues in America, applying the same rules we have for entering the country via air to those coming on land.

Stand with Women Commitment – lets constituents know who is pro-woman, pro-science, and will fight for policies that prevent sex discrimination and preserve women’s rights, safety, and opportunities.

Our Hope Agenda commitments on health care, safe borders, free speech, women’s rights, and educational trust through transparency will help elevate the importance of these policy issues that will genuinely benefit women and all Americans. The’ll be backed by a range of proven educational approaches, including:

  • Educational engagements that help users realize that many well intended “solutions” are harmful and there are better approaches.
  • Real-life, emotional stories of victims who have been hurt by dangerous misguided policies.
  • Emotionally-gripping ads that quickly highlight the problems
  • Reaching each audience on platforms where they are listening and engaging.
  • Activating Independent Women’s Network—a growing group of roughly 35,000 women across the nation with 29 chapters established in 19 states—to carry these messages to other women and allies in their communities.

There is more to come. But each of these components of the Hope Agenda will help bring hope back to America, and we welcome partners and allies in elevating a Hope Agenda that talks about the issues that women, as well as Independents, Hispanics, and younger Americans, care deeply about and want addressed.

Heather Higgins on December 8, 2023

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