Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 22, 2014

Democratic Poll: The Issues That Resonate With Single Women Voters

Democratic Poll: The Issues That Resonate With Single Women Voters

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., participated in a recent news conference on legislation following the Hobby Lobby decision. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A new poll of likely voters in 12 Senate battleground states suggests a populist economic message and focus on women’s health issues could help Democrats improve their standing with unmarried women voters in advance of the midterm elections.

The poll was conducted by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg’s Democracy Corps in collaboration with Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, which focuses on increasing participation among unmarried women voters.

It found that Democratic candidates are currently underperforming with unmarried women voters, beating Republicans among the crucial demographic by just 11 points, compared to a 20-point gap in the 2010 midterms. But the poll also gave Democrats suggestions for messages that are most likely to resonate with this voting bloc.

“The movement in the races and in the states is really about the movement of unmarried women … based on hearing an economic agenda that resonates with their lives,” said Page Gardner, the founder of Women’s Voices Women Vote.

The “in your shoes” economic message that connected with unmarried women included “finally helping mothers in the work place and making sure those at the top are paying their fair share and, most importantly, a critique of Republicans for their policies that are hurting seniors and women,” according to a release about the poll.

After being exposed to this Democratic message and other Republican messaging, which the pollsters say are of equal strength, unmarried women became more likely to say they would vote for the Democratic candidate, giving Democrats the same sizable edge as in 2010 — when the party still lost 63 House seats and six Senate seats.

Asked why Democrats are currently underperforming with unmarried women, Greenberg speculated they are frustrated with economic policies and that Democratic messaging has not yet connected with these voters.

“I’m sure there’s some disappointment. [Obama’s] approval rating from unmarried women was not that high,” Greenberg said. But, he continued, “the fact is that Democrats have not been speaking to them.” Greenberg noted he thinks Democrats generally understand the importance of unmarried women voters and, moving forward, will focus on connecting with them.

The poll also suggested Democrats could highlight their opposition to the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling to motivate unmarried women, especially if used as part of a broader attack on Republicans’ positions on women’s health.

“Economic populism and women’s health are both strong … they shift the vote,” Greenberg said.

The poll sampled 1,000 people who had voted in either 2006 or 2010 and used the names of candidates in the individual battleground states. The 12 states tested were Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina and West Virginia. Democrats are defending all but two.

  • YONATAN C

    It’s amazing what can be done when the democrats REALLY want something done. What about the more than three million STILL unemployed families who are STILL without an unemployment extension since late last December? Have they forgotten about this group already? These families have been falling deeper and deeper into financial ruin over the past seven months, while both political parties played their party politics. Why is it that other countries receive financial aid, but NOT our own citizens here? Look what a disgrace the VA has been to out veterans? Who are you working for? Yourselves?

  • beth_odonnell

    Why does “women’s health” always stop below the belt?
    Why do the press and politicians think only single mothers have economic woes?
    20% of women over 40 have never married and most likely won’t (30 mil single women vs 20 mil single men over 40 in America).
    20% of women over 40 don’t have kids and most likely won’t (biology).
    20% of home buyers are single women (not waiting for Prince Charming).
    We age out-of childcare and birth control issues. We never age out of retirement issues. If politicians care about single women, they should revamp Social Security to take away the advantages for married couples before doing across the board changes that will and already have driven elderly single women into extreme poverty. They should not mess with the mortgage interest deduction, at least for for solo/single homeowners. Bash the GOP and Congress at will, they deserve it. But don’t ignore the LOCAL politicians who are taxing women out of their homes via wage, school and real estate taxes, and who are, in cities, are Democrats in huge majorities.

  • Joseph Biten

    Today’s liberals are mostly marxists. No question.

  • Uncle Rex

    In this video we find a little more background on liberal domestic terrorist Floyd Corkins: http://youtu.be/WOBMLahUszQ?t=29s

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