NEW: Deep Dive into WOW College-Educated Women 

Dec 5, 2023 | Press Release, Uncategorized


December 5, 2023 

NEW: Deep Dive into WOW College-Educated Women 

IRG and SPN conduct focus groups and surveys to better understand policy concerns and priorities of women

DELAFIELD, WI – No group of voters has changed more in Wisconsin than college-educated women in the Milwaukee suburbs, redefining how to build winning coalitions. Last July, the Institute for Reforming Government (IRG) and State Policy Network (SPN) conducted three focus groups and a comprehensive survey of college-educated women in the suburban Milwaukee counties of Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington (WOW) to understand what they want from their lawmakers.  The full report can be found here.

Why it Matters: The report, a first in Wisconsin, dives deep into: approval and trust of political parties, vote shifting in the last decade, ranking of policy issues for Wisconsin lawmakers to address such as abortion, crime, taxes, K-12, and healthcare, and party advantage on each policy issue.  The qualitative survey is backed by hours of focus group discussions, moderated by Erin Norman, SPN’s Senior Senior Messaging Strategist. 

The Quote: “While the nation only turns its attention to our state sporadically, IRG is constantly focused on building bridges across the state to understand our people and their needs. That’s why we partnered with State Policy Network to listen and learn from college-educated women voters in the Milwaukee suburbs. 

Among the many findings, one is that conservatives can do a better job at solving and messaging everyday issues that are priorities for women.”  -IRG CEO CJ Szafir 

Key Table:

Report Quick Hits: 

  • College-educated women in suburban Milwaukee are politically moderate and care most about solving problems. 
  • Trust in both major political parties is low but, when forced to choose, these women believe Democrats will do a better job in office than Republicans.
  • Deeper conversations reveal this group has reservations about how Democrats approach many issues—often by spending more money without critical thinking or a problem-solving mentality—but Wisconsin Republicans are not countering with solutions-oriented ideas.
  • Healthcare and abortion are top-of-mind issues among this group, the latter more so here than in other parts of the country, even among self-identified liberals.

For more:  


The Institute for Reforming Government is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that seeks to simplify government at every level by offering policy solutions to thought leaders in American government in the areas of tax reform, government inefficiency, and burdensome regulations.

To learn more about the Institute for Reforming Government, click here.