WASHINGTON D.C.Today the controversial Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) failed, 52-47, in the Democratic-controlled Senate during a procedural vote to combat the “wage gap.” Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) releases brand new research that tests the effectiveness and impact of messages related to the Paycheck Fairness Act and the “War on Women” narrative.

An overwhelming majority (66%) of women disagree with the notion that a “War on Women” exists. The research found that the debate over the PFA actually reduces support for President Obama — among women who voted for President Obama in 2008 support for President Obama declined by 12-points (87-75 percent) and climbed for Romney (13-25 percent). 

Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of Independent Women’s Voice, said,

“Our new message experiment not only explores the truth about how the American people feel in regards to the "War on Women," but also explores the real impact the Paycheck Fairness Act narrative has on public opinion. 

"A vast majority of women agree workplace discrimination is a problem, however, they don’t view government regulation as the answer. The law will only create more burdens for employers and make it almost impossible for them to tie compensation to work quality, productivity and experience. This legislation is bad for business and will only have a Trojan Horse effect on both job creation and our economy. 

"While the extreme 'War on Women' rhetoric may win over the most partisan voters, it backfires with key voters – independents and weak partisans alike. The reality is playing gender politics is neither smart policy nor smart politics — women and men want to see the economy back in working order. It's time Washington stops tinkering around and starts working together to tackle the issues that are bruising our economy.” 

Key Findings:

– The vast majority of women (74 percent) agree at least somewhat that workplace discrimination is a serious problem; but this doesn't necessarily translate into PFA support. 

– Support for the PFA dramatically decreases when respondents read both the Progressive message about the PFA and IWV's message highlighting the ill-economic effects of burdensome regulation like the PFA.

– “Strong” support for the bill drops 35-points to a mere 10 percent when respondents read IWV's Economic PFA message in addition to the Progressive message.

– The results indicate that messages focused solely on explaining why the “wage gap” is a myth are risky, possibly because it ?ghts the PFA within the terms put forth by feminist groups on the left.

– Neither men nor women agree with the claim that there is a Republican War on Women; only 34 percent of women across all conditions agree there is a War on Women.

– The debate over the PFA reduces support for President Obama among women who already voted for him in 2008 by 12-points, from 87-75 percent, with Romney's share rising from 13 percent to 25 percent. 

– The debate over the PFA also reduces support for ObamaCare and positive perceptions of Obama's economic plans.

This survey was conducted May 24-29th and the results are from a non-probability, opt-in respondent sample of 1,006 registered independent and weak partisans. 

To view the full summary report, click HERE