Behind Obama's Victory: Women Open Up a Record Marriage Gap

Unmarried women voted for Obama by a massive 70 to 29 percent.

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Young voters and Latinos are being widely credited with helping propel Barack Obama to a commanding victory, but an even greater source of support for the president-elect appears to have come from unmarried women—an important but often overlooked demographic.

Unmarried women—a group that includes single, separated, divorced, or widowed women—voted for Obama over Republican opponent John McCain by a whopping 70 to 29 percent in yesterday's election, according to numbers released today by Women's Voices Women Vote, a nonpartisan organization.

Married women, by contrast, preferred McCain by a slim 3 percentage-point margin, 50 to 47 percent.

Unmarried women have historically voted for Democrats—in 2004, for example, 62 percent chose Sen. John Kerry over President Bush—but Obama's performance easily surpasses that of his predecessors.

Overall, 53 percent of the national electorate this year was female, according to exit poll data. Women overall voted 56 to 43 percent for Obama; men voted 49 to 48 percent for him.

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