President-elect Barack Obama

“Soccer moms” – suburban married women with young children – have drawn the attention of campaign strategists over the past decade, but an exit poll of voters showed single women were a decisive factor in Barack Obama’s historic victory.

“If not for the overwhelming support of unmarried women, John McCain would have won the women’s vote and with it, the White House,” said the international research firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

Tuesday night, unmarried women supported the Democratic candidate by a stunning 70 to 29 percent margin, the firm said in a summary of its calculations, based on the Edison/Mitofsky National Election Pool published by CNN.

By contrast, married women supported Obama by a 50 to 47 percent margin.

Obama’s backing from unmarried women exceeds the support he generated among both younger voters and Hispanic voters, according to Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

Similarly, unmarried women supported Democratic House candidates by a 64 to 29 percent margin.

The research firm found a 44-point difference in the voting behavior of married women and unmarried women.

The support for the Democratic candidate by unmarried women was significantly higher Tuesday night than previous presidential elections.

In 2004, 62 percent of unmarried women supported Democrat John Kerry, while 37 percent voted to re-elect President Bush.

In 1992, unmarried women backed Democrat Bill Clinton by a margin of 53 to 31 percent.

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner said the research was commissioned by a “progressive” advocacy group called Women’s Voices. Women Vote.

On its website, the women’s group said, “Unmarried Americans are the fastest-growing large demographic in the country and a majority of Americans will live with an unmarried head of household. But despite their numbers, unmarried Americans are under-represented in national elections and their voices are not being heard in our democracy. Women’s Voices. Women Vote was created to activate unmarried Americans in their government and in our democracy.”

The research firm said women last night “joined other groups, such as younger voters and people of color, in creating a new American electorate.”

“As progressives now begin thinking about consolidating the gains we saw last night and creating long-term political coalitions,” the firm said, “they would do well to pay attention to the critical contribution of unmarried women. They earned it.”


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