Is the Republican Party doomed to repeat 2012’s “War on Women” in the 2016 presidential campaign? The three male, Republican candidates for president may surprise you. The Democratic Party’s narrative that the Republican Party was committing a “War on Women” was based on a series of remarks that made Todd Akin, Robert Mourdock, Rick Santorum, and Rush Limbaugh household names in 2012. From Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” for her advocacy around contraception, to Santorum’s opposition to abortion in cases of rape, this constellation of extreme statements gave the Democratic Party ample material to demonstrate that the Republican Party was hopelessly out of touch with women, particularly around issues of reproduction and sexuality. While the “War on Women” narrative was less successful for Democrats in last year’s elections, it has reemerged in 2015 with renewed attention to the Republican candidates for president.
Latina/o voters, and Latinas specifically, played a decisive role in the 2008 and 2012 national elections and are poised to play a similarly significant role in 2016. Owing to the growth of the population and especially their growing share of the electorate, as well as the strength of Latina/o support for Democratic candidates in swing states – Latinas/os command an increasingly important role in Presidential elections.
On Sunday, April 12, Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her candidacy for the 2016 Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Clinton will likely be joined soon in the pursuit of the presidency by a Republican woman, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. This is a good moment to reflect on the women who have blazed a path toward the White House and the potential for a woman to take the oath of office in years to come.