The campaign to re-elect Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is making its first pitch to women voters in an attempt to close the perceived gender gap.
This Friday the campaign will launch “Women for Team Mitch” where McConnell will be joined by his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, along with women from across Kentucky.
It is a sign that the GOP leader understands the need to reach out to women, which is a key voting bloc that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is courting.
National Democrats have pounded McConnell’s record on women’s issues, which includes voting against the re-authorization the Violence Against Women Act earlier this year.
But aides close to McConnell have said the senator isn’t going to ignore the female vote, and is eager to defend his views.
From The New York Times:
Given recent struggles that Republican Senate contenders have had with women’s issues, Mr. McConnell’s advisers say they intend to confront head-on the criticism Democrats have already begun leveling against him on issues they view as particularly important to female voters.
“The long and short of it is, we’re going to be very aggressive in making sure people don’t mischaracterize what his record is, especially when it comes to women and women’s issues,” said Josh Holmes, Mr. McConnell’s chief of staff for Kentucky operations. “Not only are we not afraid of it, we’re very proud of it.”
One interesting fact from the NY Times piece is that 54 percent of McConnell’s staffers are women, which puts the senator in the top third of lawmakers in terms of hiring and employing women.
The event will feature a group representing women who have endorsed McConnell from all 120 counties in the state.