Gender Gap or Marriage Gap?

There has been a lot of media yammering in this election cycle about the impact of the “women’s vote” but despite what is implied by the stories and campaign rhetoric, women are not a single voting bloc. According to valuable research from the Voter Participation Center (VPC) “women’s marital status is a key predictor of electoral participation, preferences and values. Married women are more likely to register and to vote than unmarried women.”

Unmarried women (never married, separated, divorced, or widowed) are one of the fastest growing demographic groups in America, hugely increasing their percentage of all potential voters. No doubt women will have a significant impact on the election, but if unmarried women turn out in larger proportions than they have in the past, it will have a greater impact on electing more progressive candidates and causes. According to the VPC’s fact sheet, cleverly designed as a binder full of statistics about single women, unmarried women tend to vote for the more progressive candidates. Boosting the civic engagement of unmarried women will lead to more elected representatives and public policies that better reflect the rising American electorate.

With less than two weeks before the national election don’t succumb to the weariness of the electoral process. There are dozens of important races and issues on the ballot for November 6th. Hopefully the outbursts from women on the social web over recent gaffs such as “binders full of women” and the more disturbing and clueless statements from current and potential members of Congress on birth control, rape and pregnancy, will translate into more women, and more single women, showing up at the polls.

There are many websites to help sort through the candidate positions and ballot measures. We recommend non-partisan sites, like BallotPedia and Project Vote Smart for factual information on the “down-ballot” issues that are often overlooked but are as important in this election as the presidential race. EWIP is a 501(c)(3) and therefore we won’t endorse any candidate, but if you want to put in a plea for a cause, or candidate worthy of attention, please add your voice to our comment section. Help your friends, families, and unmarried neighbors get out there and vote. Our country, our democracy depend on it.