Unmarried women are increasingly drawn to Democratic congressional candidates in swing districts but many of them may not be sufficiently motivated to turn out at the polls in the November election, according to a new survey by a Democrat-oriented research firm.
Unmarried women show a 20-point preference for Democratic candidates in 56 House battleground districts with Republican incumbents. Married women give GOP candidates a five-point advantage.
Yet the survey isn't as positive for Democrats as it might initially appear. That's because unmarried women don't show the same level of enthusiasm for voting in 2012 as do married women. Fifty-two percent of married women say they are enthusiastic about casting their ballots compared with 46 percent of unmarried women.
"For much of 2011, unmarried women--who make up over 25 percent of eligible voters--did not seem to notice that Republicans wre advocating policies that were hostile to thier interests," said Page Gardner, president of "Women's Voices. Women Vote Action Fund," an advocacy group that co-sponsored the survey. "But this data tells us all that may be changing, that they are now paying attention and that they do not like what they are seeing."
The reason for the move of single women to the Democrats stemmed from the "recent controversies over contraception and health care" in addition to the belief that Republican budget priorities would "undermine the economic prospects of women," a spokesman for the pollsters said.
The poll was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps and the "Women's Voices. Women Vote Action Fund."
Earlier polls showed that President Obama is far outdistancing Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney among unmarried women, while Romney holds a narrower edge among married women. A similar gap is now emerging in congressional races, according to the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll.
This confirms a long-term pattern in which single women tend to vote Democratic but married women prefer the Republicans.